From Emporia State University to Broadway, professional lighting designer Ben Pilat will be sharing his insights at the 2015-16 Pflaum Memorial Lecture on Tuesday evening December 1, 2015. The lecture is free and open to the public. During his time in Emporia, Pilat will also be a guest instructor for several theatre classes.
Pilat graduated from Emporia State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. He went to Boston University, where he earned his M.F.A. in Lighting Design. He currently serves as Resident Lighting Designer and Lighting Supervisor for the Los Angeles Ballet and as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Pepperdine University. Pilat says he "is drawn to light as a designer because of the power it has to transform time and space, enriching the theatrical experience." His goals in theatrical design and teaching are to "create images that linger in the mind, enhance natural beauty, and illuminate thought-provoking ideas."
Before joining the Pepperdine faculty, Pilat worked as an independent lighting designer in New York City. His impressive resume includes designs for Julliard, Yale, Commonwealth Opera and Manhattan Theatre Source. He previously served as Resident Lighting Designer for The Attic Theater Company, and has Assistant and Associate Broadway design credits that include productions of Master Class and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. He has also worked on major television studio installations.
In 2010, Pilat won the Rising Star Award, sponsored by Live Design and LDI and presented annually at the USITT Conference and Expo. Other awards include the Barbizon Lighting Design Award from the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (2009) and the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award from Emporia State University (2010). He is a member of the United Scenic Artists and the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.
His appearance at Emporia State University is presented by the Department of Communication and Theatre and is supported by the Performing Arts Board. The Pflaum Lecture is held annually to honor the memory of Dr. George R.R. Pflaum who came to Kansas State Teacher’s College in 1923 and served on the faculty for over forty years. Doc Pflaum was an active member of the Emporia community until his death in January 1977. Previous Pflaum Lectures in theatre were presented by Dr. Jennifer Martin, the Hall Family Foundation Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Dr. Ronald Frederickson, professor emeritus.