#70 Paul Toben

Episode 70 is direct from Cory’s kitchen and it’s with Lighting Designer Paul Toben. Paul is currently in town serving as the Associate LD for the new Broadway musical ‘War Paint,’ but he’s with us today to do some deep excavating into the true nature of being a working designer. Cory and Paul trace their 10 year friendship and explore topics such as varied career paths, how he measures personal and professional success, how he finds happiness and fulfillment through his work, and how theatre can play a role in our extremely divisive political climate. Paul also shares insight from working with great designers like Ken Billington, Paul Gallo and Kevin Adams, recalls what it felt like designing a Broadway show in his twenties, and tries to tackle the question all designers ask themselves from time to time: “Do I still love what I do?” And lastly, no conversation with Paul is complete without touching on his other great passion in life, Baseball.

Paul Toben is a Lighting Designer of theater, live events and unique spaces. Based out of Chicago, his designs for the stage have been seen in New York City, at regional theaters nationwide, and in Canada and England.

Paul’s New York credits include: The Story of My Life (Broadway, with Ken Billington), Electra in a One Piece (The Wild Project), Saturn Nights (The Incubator), The Realm (The Wild Project), Romeo and Juliet (Columbia Stages), Futurity and Too Little, Too Late (HERE Arts Center), When in Disgrace (Examined Man), The Redheaded Man (Fringe Encores.) He designed the lighting for Daddy Long Legs which played at over a dozen US regional theatres, as well as London and a run Off-Broadway.

Regionally, Paul has designed an array of plays and musicals for theaters including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Theatre Center, Dallas Theatre Center, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company, Theatreworks Palo Alto, Marin Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, Flatrock Playhouse, and many others. He also designs lighting for branded corporate events, architectural projects, concerts, and special events.

Paul’s Associate/Assistant credits on Broadway include War Paint, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hands on a Hardbody, Nick Work if You Can Get It, On a Clear Day…, Anything Goes, Everyday Rapture, Bye Bye Birdie, Next to Normal, Pal JoeySunday in the Park with George, and the Broadway try-out of The Spongebob Musical. He is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.