Indiana State University Newsroom

Theater faculty debuts at Indiana Rep as lighting designer

January 26, 2017

Michael Jackson, associate professor at Indiana State University, is making his lighting design debut at Indiana Repertory Theatre for their production of "The Cay."

Adapted from the award-winning children's novel, "The Cay" tells a story of overcoming both hardship and prejudice, reminding us that friendship has no boundaries. It runs Jan. 28-Feb. 26.

"The Cay is a story of overcoming adversities that are much larger than any single person: war, the humbling power of Mother Nature and our own societal prejudices," Jackson said. "When approaching the play from the standpoint of its lighting, my goal is to create an experience that helps the audience to meet these larger environmental forces in a visceral and emotionally resonant manner. With the scenery existing as a single, stationary island, the lighting must evoke the natural world -- the ocean and sky, moving from isolated darkness through poetic dawn towards blazing sunlight -- while also taking the audience along for Phillip and Timothy's emotional journey of survival and personal transformation."

Founded in 1971, the Indiana Repertory Theatre is the largest and leading fully professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and has grown into one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of IRT is to produce top-quality, professional theater and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping build a vital and vibrant community.

Jackson's regional theater credits include 10 productions for Cardinal Stage Company, including "Next to Normal," "August: Osage County" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." He has also designed for the Phoenix Theatre, the Florida Studio Theatre and the Crossroads Repertory Theatre. New York credits include productions at the "Wild Project," "Here Arts Center," "Dixon Place" and "P.S. 122."

An Indiana native, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville, and his M.F.A. in lighting design from NYU.