Past Participants

1984 - Helen McCullagh, University of Miami
1985 - Russ Swift, University of Wisconsin, Madison
1986 - Peggy Mueller-Borrer, Northwestern University
1987 - Kim Davis, University of California, Los Angeles
1988 - Lynn Lefkoff, Amherst College
1989 - Gary Marder, Boston University
1990 - Eileen Dougherty, University of Connecticut
1991 - John Lasiter, Rutgers University
1992 - Jeffrey Tapper, University of Connecticut
1993 - Jeffrey Croiter, SUNY, Purchase
1994 - Kenneth Schutz, Southern Methodist University
1995 - Christopher Reay, Southern Methodist University
1996 - Neal Krogh, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana
1997 - Penny Jacobus, University of Wisconsin, Madison
1998 - Nicole Pearce, California Institute of the Arts
1999 - Michael Patterson, Emerson College
2000 - Kazuko Oguma, University of Missouri, Kansas City
2001 - David Lapham, Indiana University
2001 - James Primm, University of Missouri, Kansas City
2002 - Camille Connolly, Carnegie Mellon University
2003 - Michael Spitzer, University of Connecticut, Storrs
2004 - Jeff Carnevale, Boston University
2005 - Daniel Gallagher, University of Wisconsin, Madison
2006 - Jeanette Yew, California Institute of the Arts
2007 - Michael Jarett, Brandeis University
2008 - Hong Sooyeon, University of California, San Diego
2009 - Leigh Spencer Brown, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2010 - Brandon Baker, California School of the Arts
2010 - Davida Tkach, National Theater School of Canada
2011 - Marihan Mehelba, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2012 - Nathan Sheurer, Webster University
2013 - Kate Bashore, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2014 - Erika Johnson, University of Connecticut, Storrs
2015 - Conor Mulligan, San Diego State University
2016 - Thorn Michaels, University of Washington
2017 - Emily Clarkson, University of Arkansas
2018 - Ito Edoloyi, Brooklyn College


No tense dark moment in the theatre could withstand Gilbert’s exuberant laughter. With fresh flowers on his lighting desk and cartons of orange juice and grapefruit juice for all who thirsted, Gilbert would send Fred Scott into the pit to play the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ Everyone stood at attention. And so would every final cue-to-cue rehearsal under Gilbert’s direction begin.
— Sarah Caldwell, Founder and Artistic Director, Opera Company of Boston


Where Are They Now?

Gary Marder

(1989) is in his 10th year as Assistant Resident Lighting Designer for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He has designed The Makropulos Case and Samson and Delila for Houston Grand Opera, Norma for San Diego Opera and Dialogues of the Carmelites for Palm Beach Opera. Before the Met he served for five years as Associate Resident Lighting Designer with the New York City Opera. He has worked in many opera houses on the East Coast including Boston, Connecticut and Washington DC. Gary has designed plays and musicals for The New York State Theater Institute in Albany, NY, including Big River, The Tempest, Pinocchio and Death of a Salesman. He designed the off-Broadway production of A Terrible Beauty with Tatum O’Neal. As well as serving as Assistant Lighting Designer on the Broadway productions of Tru, Grand Hotel, Gypsy with Tyne Daly and the ill-fated Annie II.

Eileen Dougherty

(1990) worked as the Assistant Resident Lighting Designer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and as a Lighting Designer, Assistant Lighting Designer and Producer for Opera Colorado, Colorado Opera Festival, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and numerous opera, dance, theater, corporate and architectural projects. She went on to manage corporate lighting and design projects as a Director then as Vice President for Event Engineering, Inc. in Chicago, overseeing corporate contracts and staffing for shows and events in Chicago and throughout the United States. She now applies her unique skills to high level legal and law enforcement matters where she has received numerous meritorious awards and citations for her extraordinary investigative contributions, including using multimedia to advance priority international investigations while overcoming logistical and informational obstacles through her strong interagency liaison.

John Lasiter

(1991) designs lighting (and sometimes scenery) for Opera, Ballet, Modern Dance, Drama and Musical Theater. His opera designs have been seen at Glimmerglass Opera, EOS Orchestra Opera NYC, Gotham Opera NYC, Manhattan School of Music, and numerous regional opera companies. His lighting for the acclaimed musical Ella (the Ella Fitzgerald Story) toured the US since 2006 and is scheduled well into 2010 at 24 Regional Theaters. Regional theater design credits include: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theater Company, Asolo Repertory Theater, Center Stage Baltimore, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Dallas Theater Center, George Street Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Goodspeed Operahouse (musicals), Hartford Stage, Laguna Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory, New Mexico Repertory, Pittsburgh Public Theater, San Jose Repertory, South Coast Repertory, St. Louis Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Theaterworks Hartford and Virginia Stage. His dance lighting has been produced at the Kitchen, Guggenheim SoHo, The Joyce Theater, throughout the US, Europe and occasionally Russia. He is the Resident Designer for Randy James Dance Works. John designed notable off-Broadway productions of The Seagull directed by Austin Pendelton, The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy written and directed by Alan Ball, Dreamstuff, Running Man (Jazz Opera), and Make Me a Song. He made his Broadway debut in 2011 with High starring Kathleen Turner. 

Jeff Tapper

(1992) is a founding partner of Tapper, Nimer and Associates Inc, an IT consulting company. He has been developing Internet based applications since 1995, for a myriad of clients including Harley Davidson, Toys R Us, IBM, Dow Jones, American Express, Morgan Stanley, and many others. As an Instructor, he is certified to teach all of Adobe’s courses on Flex, ColdFusion and Flash development. Jeff has worked as author and technical editor for several books including Object Oriented Programming with ActionScript 2.0, and Flex 2 Training from the Source. He is a frequent speaker at Conferences and user groups. Jeff Tapper and Mike Nimer formed Tapper, Nimer and Associates Inc. to focus on developing Rich Internet Applications and empowering clients through mentoring.

Jeff Croiter

(1993) What has Jeff been up to? Broadway: Newsies; Peter and the Starcatcher (Tony Award, Hewes Award); The Anarchist; The Performers; The Pee-wee Herman Show; Next Fall; Kiki and Herb. Other NYC includes: Clive; Old Jews Telling Jokes; Silence! The Musical; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; Harper Regan; Meet Vera Stark; Rapture Blister Burn; A Lie of the Mind; Ordinary Days; Streamers; Family Guys Sings; Jerry Springer The Opera; Rufus Wainwright’s Judy Garland Concert at Carnegie Hall; Knickerbocker; Things We Want; The Voysey Inheritance; The Internationalist; Jacques Brel; I Love You Because; Almost, Maine; The Dazzle; and Jennifer Muller The Works. Regional: The Guthrie, Shakespeare Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage, McCarter Theatre, Kennedy Center, The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, The Huntington,  Geffen Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Trinity Rep, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, Goodspeed Opera House, and NY Stage and Film. International: London, Paris, Moscow, Riga, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Beijing.

Kenny Schutz

(1994) is the Head of Project Management for the architectural lighting design firm, Focus Lighting.  After completing the internship, Kenny served as NYCO’s Associate Resident Lighting Designer before beginning his own freelance career.  He designed Wagner’s Ring Cycle for director Robert Wilson in Paris.  Kenny’s lighting has also been seen at: The Fringe Festival, The Pearl Theater Company, The Actor’s Studio, The Riverside Theatre, Opera Memphis, Opera Columbus and the Barbican Centre, among others. During his internship, Kenny was the first Hemsley intern to work for Stan Pressner, and was pretty confident that he made an impression guaranteeing he would be the last.  Ten years later, however, Kenny was still working with Stan lighting on all kinds of things: Learjets, jugglers, a 66-acre Arboretum, and a Pet Psychic…to say nothing of nine Lincoln Center Festivals. Kenny has also taught at Vassar College, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Connecticut College.

Christopher Reay

(1995) Chris received the Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Internship Award opportunity in New York City in 1995. He has worked as the Associate Lighting Designer on numerous productions for the McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, Portland Opera, Houston Grand Opera and on Mel Brooks’ latest musical Young Frankenstein. Chris served as the Resident Associate Lighting Designer at the Seattle Rep for three seasons, where he had the opportunity to work with such artists as Stephen Wadsworth (Game of Love and Chance and Don Juan), Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphoses, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Odyssey and The Secret in the Wings), August Wilson (Jitney and the world premiere of King Hedley II prior to its move to Broadway), Dan Sullivan (The Real Life and the national tour of Proof) and Ping Chong (Obon),. He served for ten seasons as a Lighting Supervisor and then Lighting Director for the Santa Fe Opera. Chris has worked as an Associate Lighting Designer for the Seattle Opera for over ten years on such shows as Carmen, Cosi Fan Tutti, Florencia in the Amazons and Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Wagner’s Ring cycle. Chris has designed projections for a number of productions at Seattle Opera as well, including The Magic Flute, Orphee et Eurydice and La Boheme. His lighting design work in Seattle includes Don Pasquale for Seattle Opera, When Grace Comes In and Boy Gets Girl for the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Mitzi’s Abortion, Flight and Black Coffee for ACT, Forbidden Xmas, Ubu Roi and Biro for the Empty Space Theatre, Juicy Point B and the original Myth of Us for Maureen Whiting Dance Co. Chris currently serves as the Assistant Technical Director and Resident Projection Designer for Seattle Opera.

Penny Jacobus

(1997) is the current Lighting Director of New York City Ballet. She was hired as a Lighting Assistant for the New York City Opera in 1998 upon completion of the Internship and remained in that position until 2000 when she moved to New York City Ballet. Other projects have included assisting on Broadway shows, lighting dance tours in Europe, working as Lighting Supervisor for the Kirov Ballet in the USA as well as lighting smaller things around the area. She can be reached at and would be happy to answer any questions that Internship applicants may have. B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison Ð 1995.

Nicole Pearce

(1998)  Regional lighting designs: Sugar Syndrome, A Nervous Smile (Williamstown Theatre Festival). NY: Trial by Water (Ma-Yi Theatre Company), Little Willy (Rude Mechanicals), Jump Rope, 16 Wounded, 99 Histories (Cherry Lane Alternative); Sakharam Binder (The Play Company); M?moire, Blood in the Sink, Wet, Mimesophobia (SPF); The Secret Garden, An Unseen Energy Swallows Space (The Kitchen); Judith and five productions with the Juilliard School. Dance: All Fours, Rock of Ages, From Old Seville, Cargo, Candleflowerdance, Up and Down (Boston Ballet) with choreographer Mark Morris, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid (Ballet Memphis); Choreographers/Composers and New Dances (The Juilliard School); Carmina Burana (Ballet Theatre of Maryland); Hold the Line (Symphony Space).

James Primm

(2001) Deceased.  Jim designed lighting for Opera in the Ozarks, Florida Studio Theatre, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, The Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre as well as a series of New Visions concerts for New York City Opera. He worked with the Wylliams/Henry Danse Theatre in Kansas City beginning in 2001 and had assisted professionally with Kirk Bookman and Dawn Chiang.

Camille Connolly

(2002) is an MFA graduate (’02) from Carnegie Mellon where she studied both lighting & scenery, BFA from Southern Oregon University. Her work ranges from Fringe Shows to Broadcast environments, International Exhibits to Musicals, Opera, Ballet and Dance, to Dinner Theater. Some much loved projects include designing scenery for Sailor’s Song (LABryinth Theater), The Baker’s Wife (CMU), lighting for the American Girl Revue (American Girl Place NYC), 5 Guys Named Moe (Oregon Cabaret Theater), scenery for Life during Wartime at the New School, and assisting with the scenery for Howard Stern, Martha Stuart Living, ABC News Tonight, Nickelodeon International Licensing Exhibit, and the Weather Channel for Jack Morton/Production Design Group.

Dan Gallagher

(2005) was the 2005 Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Intern at Lincoln Center, where he worked for New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, the Lincoln Center Festival, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Dan continues to work for these companies as a lighting assistant. He has taught lighting design at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he received his masters degree. He designed shows for the University Opera and University Theatre, including, The Secret Garden, The Memorandum, Dialogues of the Carmelites and The Physicists for which he won the 2003 Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival award for best lighting design. He has also designed for the Gallery Players (NYC), CTM Madison Family Theatre, Madison Savoyards, Renaissance Theaterworks (WI), Mary Washington College (VA), Arizona State University, the Forestburgh Playhouse (NY), and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. He has also worked as an assistant designer for P.B.S.’ Live from Lincoln Center, Madison Rep, Milwaukee Rep, and Skylight Opera. Dan was the technical coordinator for the U.S. tour of India’s Chorus Repertory Theatre’s production of Nine Hills One Valley. Dan is also a co-founder of Endstation Theatre in Charlottesville, VA which will premier its first production in the Spring of 2007.

Jeanette Yew


Michael Jarett

(2007) currently works as the Lighting Designer/Dance Technical Director for the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance and Choreography and also as a freelance lighting designer. He received his MFA in Theater Design from Brandeis University. Mike’s designs have been seen in New York at Theater for the New City, Theater Row, Dance Theater Workshop, the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and regionally at the Arundel Barn Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Festival, Cape Rep Theater, Emerald City Opera, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, Reagle Players, Richmond Triangle Players, and West End Assembly of God, among others. His theater credits include designing The Musical of Musicals (Richmond Theater Critics Circle nomination), the U.S. Premiere of Refuge of Lies, and the World Premiere of The Two Orphans by Theresa Rebeck. Dance credits include designing for Kyle Abraham/, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Thang Dao Dance Company, Ground Zero Dance, Starr Foster Dance Project, and the VON HOWARD PROJECT. He has been the Production/Lighting Director for two regional American College Dance Festivals and re-created two designs for the National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center. Michael is also the lighting consultant for Grammy-winning music ensemble eighth blackbird. 

Brandon Baker

(2010) is a freelance lighting designer whose work can be seen in the repertories of New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Berlin Staatsballet, Miami City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, LA Dance Project and many others.   Since 2010, Baker has been a frequent collaborator with choreographer Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet collaborating on over 20 premieres internationally. Baker’s lighting has been presented nationally and internationally by major venues including Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Theatre du Chatelet (Paris), Sadlers Wells (London), Maison de La Danse (Lyon),  Teatro Carlo Felice (Genoa) and the Guggenheim Bilbao (Spain). Mr.Baker received his BFA from the California Institute of the Arts and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2016, Baker received the Lotos Foundation Prize for emerging artists in New York. 

Davida Tkach

(2010) is currently working at the Canadian Opera Company as an assistant lighting designer. She continues to freelance as a lighting designer for opera, dance, theatre and special events. Check out her work and full resume on her website .

Nathan Scheuer

(2012) is currently based in New York. During his internship in 2012 he worked with The Lincoln Center Festival, San Francisco Opera, New York City Ballet, and Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He returned to New York City Ballet for the Fall 2013 season and accompanied them on their tour to Japan. Select freelance design credits since his internship include, in New York, the world premiere of La Plage (Tom Gold Dance), Shaping Sound at Roseland, and associate designer for Manilow on Broadway; Live at the St. James. Regional design credits include projection design for Seussical, Spamalot, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, South Pacific, Nunsense (The MUNY), and lighting design for Addams Family, Grease, Shrek, Les Miserable, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The MUNY), That’s Where I Will Be Waiting, Come Together (Shaping Sound Dance Co), Masha’s Seagull (The Classical Edge), Next to Normal, Good People, One Man Two Guvnors, Around the World in 80 Days (TheatreSquared), Cipher, Beneath One’s Dignity, and the upcoming full length Sleeping Beauty (LA Ballet). Nathan was also the lighting designer for Selena Gomez’s Stars Dance Tour, set designer for Alice Cooper’s Raise the Dead Tour, and associate production designer for Toby Keith’s Hammerdown Tour. Nathan earned his BFA in lighting and scenic design from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. 

Kate Bashore

(2013) is a New York City-­‐based lighting designer for theatre, dance, and opera. Her designs have been presented by Royal Family Productions (NY); LaGuardia Arts High School (NY); Brevard Music Center (NC); Clarence Brown Theatre (TN); Playhouse on the Square (TN); and Festival 56 (IL). She has worked as a lighting supervisor for Lincoln Center Festival and has assisted for various designers, companies, and venues throughout NYC, including projects at the Signature Theatre Company; New York City Ballet; Jazz at Lincoln Center; the Joyce Theatre; and BAM’s Fisher Theatre. MFA: University of Tennessee – Knoxville. BA: Wake Forest University. 

Erika Johnson

(2015) is a proud Husky, having received her BFA from the University of Connecticut. She is currently the lighting supervisor for Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and works as a freelance lighting designer all over the east coast for theatre, dance, television, and special events. Lighting design credits include: Macbeth (Theatre Row - Lion Theatre), Thetis: Immortal Fire (Shakespeare and Company), Big Love (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Connecticut College). Projection design: Legally Blonde (Connecticut Rep), Dead Heavy Fantastic (Connecticut Rep).

Thorn Michaels

(2016) Thorn Michaels is a Seattle-based lighting designer for theater, opera, installations, and dance.  Her designs have been seen at Seattle Children’s Theatre, Velocity Dance Center, Civic Rep (WA), Meany Hall, Seattle Public Theater, Playhouse on the Square (TN), West of Lenin, and the University of Washington. During her time as the 2016 Hemsley intern she served as assistant lighting designer and assistant lighting supervisor for New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lincoln Center Festival, and San Francisco Opera.  She holds an MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Washington (‘16).