This week’s guest is Lighting Designer Mark Stanley. Mark is one of the founders of the Hemsley Lighting Program and someone who knew legendary designer Gilbert Hemsley personally. He tells us about Gil’s legacy, his unique and one-of-a kind personality and how in the past 32 years the program has grown from a single internship to an array of programs including the Portfolio Review weekend, Mentorship Program and other outreach initiatives. Mark and Cory also have a lively chat about the challanges of teaching design from paper plots to research to concept statements and tech rehearsal nuances, and the philosophies Mark bases his curriculum on at Boston University. And he shares insightful stories from his current job as Resident Lighting Designer for the New York City Ballet and his past work with New York City Opera.
Mark Stanley is the Resident Lighting Designer for New York City Ballet, where he has designed over 190 premieres for the repertory, including Paul McCartney’s Ocean’s Kingdom choreographed by Peter Martins. He has worked with numerous choreographers: Susan Stroman, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Kevin O’Day, Susan Marshall, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher d’Amboise, William Forsythe, David Gordon, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Ulysses Dove, and many others. In addition, his designs are in the repertories of the Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Ballet, The Het Nationale Ballet, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, San Francisco Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, The Norwegian Opera Ballet, The Berlin Opera Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, The Mannheim Ballet, Miamii City Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, The Bayerisches Staatsballett, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Pennsylvania Ballet, and numerous other international and regional ballet companies. He previously served as Resident Lighting Designer for New York City Opera, lighting over 20 new productions for the resident and touring companies. Additional opera credits include, Boston Lyric Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Tulsa Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, New Orleans Opera, Kentucky Opera, and others.
Stanley’s work for theater includes lighting design for The Kennedy Center, The Long Wharf Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, Ordway Music Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Maurice Sendak’s Night Kitchen Children’s Theatre, The Lost Colony, The Drama Dept., The Blue Light Theater Company, and off-Broadway, including Curse of the Starving Class with Kathy Bates and Bill Pullman. His designs have been seen nationally on PBS for “Live from Lincoln Center” and “Great Performances,” including Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Peter Martin’s Romeo and Juliet, The Diamond Project, Swan Lake, The Balanchine Celebration, An Evening with Alan J. Lerner, and New York City Opera’s The Merry Widow, The New Moon, and Carmen.
Internationally he has worked as Lighting Director with The Bolshoi Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, The Vienna Volks Oper, San Kai Juku, The Donestk Ballet, The Kodo Drummers, The National Puppet Theatre of Japan, and The Carleton Dance Festival in Brazil. Mark is currently Head of Lighting Design at Boston University and has conducted Master Classes at universities across the USA and in Europe. He is on the board of the Hemsley Lighting Programs and is the author of the Color of Light Workbook.