top of page

Unsung Heroes - Richard, Lighting Design

What does being a Lighting Designer entail?

When I discovered an interest in light design, I spent much of my time at the Bates College library, reading most of the light design literature and applied it directly “on the job” for many years. In my case, I did not have a mentor. The sense for lighting came on the job as a musician, starting in 1964.

How long have you been involved with CLT?

My inaugural production for CLT in 1989, Brighton Beach Memoirs, won the prize for best production.

What's your life like outside of the theater?

The phrase “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” applies to my work at the Franco Center. Although I’m retired from the State of Maine, I started full-time employment at the performing arts center in 2003, immediately after retirement. I have also been the production director for Lewiston High School since 1988. And I’ve done some one-off lighting gigs for Disney, State Theater and other venues.

What other roles do you fulfill at the theater?

Other than light design, I’m also one of the theater’s set designers, carpenters, production directors and a member of the Board of Directors since 1989.

What was the most challenging show you have ever lighting designed and why?

In general, musicals are the most demanding, given the multiplicity of locations and the number of required instruments in order to establish those locations and at the same time, contribute in the storytelling.

Have you ever acted onstage? Would you?

I had my stage debut in 1971 as Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar in the parish hall of St. Mary’s Church where I’m currently employed. In the late ‘80’s, I was President of the Stage Master’s Company. During that time period, I did have a lead role as John Proctor in the Crucible. I have acted on the CLT stage on one occasion, leaving the name of the show for the guessing.

If you had to have the soundtrack to a musical stuck in your car's CD player, which show would you want it to be?

Many might know the answer to this one: Les Miserables. I played the soundtrack just the other day during load-in of our next production at the Franco Center.

How has being a part of the CLT community affected your life?

CLT has sustained my avocation since 1989, and important in securing my current position at the Franco Center. I’m grateful to all its members who also contribute to the health and longevity of our theater

Why do you think that Community Theater is an asset to our communities?

Our patrons are given an opportunity to choose live theater for their recreational needs. And this opportunity has been made available to them since the early 40’s. CLT has also been an incubator of learning for anyone interested in the theater, onstage or offstage. Our theater has launched professional careers for some of our members and sustained avocations for others, including myself.