Shenandoah Conservatory has appointed Andrew Carson, M.F.A., as assistant professor of lighting design beginning August 2016. Carson will succeed William “Mac” Bozman, M.F.A., who retired at the end of this academic year after 39 years of distinguished service to Shenandoah University.
“I’m delighted to welcome Andrew Carson to our faculty,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D. “Beyond possessing exceptional design sense and a passion for mentorship, Andrew brings wonderful industry experience and knowledge of cutting-edge technology to his teaching and work. I am delighted that he will be leading lighting design at Shenandoah Conservatory into what I’m certain will be an exciting new chapter.”
“Andrew Carson brings a powerful portfolio of experience and passion to Shenandoah Conservatory,” said Technical Director, Chair of Theatre Division and Associate Professor of Theatre William Ingham, M.F.A. “His professional opportunities and research initiatives have escalated his career and we are thrilled to have our students learn from someone who is already on a formidable and exciting trajectory.”
As a professional lighting designer, Carson has worked in numerous theatres throughout the United States. He has designed for the Serenbe Playhouse located in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area where he won the Suzi Bass Award for best lighting design of a play in 2012, as well as the Broadway World Award for Best Professional Technical (Lighting) Design in Atlanta in 2011. Most recently, Carson designed lighting for the world premiere of the Grammy Award-winning choral group, Conspirare’s “Considering Matthew Shepard” to be presented on PBS early next year. He also served as the lighting designer for the 69th summer season (2015) for The Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan, and taught the apprentice company about stage lighting technology. Carson’s design for the regional premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Ordinary Days” was highlighted in the promotional videos for the 2012 HGTV Green Home.
Carson was also recently nominated for The Wilde Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for his work with “Mary Poppins” at The Barn Theatre. Established in 2002 and named in honor of the nineteenth century playwright Oscar Wilde, The Wilde Awards honor the best productions, performances and technical work produced or presented by professional theaters throughout Michigan. Nominations are based on reviews written by EncoreMichigan.com‘s team of professional critics. Award recipients will be announced Monday, Aug. 29, at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield.
As an educator, Carson has taught various design courses, spanning introductory to advanced levels and covering topics from lighting technology and techniques to safety and advanced Vectorworks drafting. He has served as an instructor and teaching assistant, and has appeared as a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin since 2013.
Carson has also collaborated on projects in lighting for stage and screen, digital media design, and advanced supervised pedagogy, including work with the Walt Disney Imagineering team to redesign outdated areas of the EPCOT Park and Blizzard Beach Waterpark at Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida. One of his contributions to the project included the design of a custom fiber-optic array pattern that begins in front of the Fountain of Nations and continues past the retail esplanade to World Showcase Plaza.
Carson received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in production design (magna cum laude) with a concentration in lighting design and scenic design at The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2012 and his Master of Fine Arts in theatrical design – lighting design at the University of Texas at Austin this year.