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Congratulations to Former Intern Qiaoyu Zhang!


By A Noise Within
July 17, 2018

Qiaoyu Joy Zhang, our lighting intern from Fall 2017, will be pursuing her master’s degree in lighting design from Carnegie Mellon this fall! Resident Artist Ken Booth worked with her during A Tale of Two Cities as well as The Madwoman of Chaillot, where she operated the light board. Ken Booth said: “She was very attentive and diligent with executing light cues exactly where they very supposed to happen (she wrote her own notes about when each cue was supposed to happen). She always jumped in to help.”

We asked Qiaoyu a few questions to find out about her career journey from our theatre to Carnegie Mellon.

What did you do as an intern at ANW?

I hung, focused, and maintained light instruments as well as operated the lighting board for The Madwoman of Chaillot.

What first attracted you to lighting design?

Working with lighting allows me to be like a magician – using lights to create a visual context that brings the script to life. I graduated from film school with a major in cinematography, where I learned cinematic lighting. Once, I searched reference pictures for my film project and I found some theatrical lighting photos. I liked the contrast and moody lighting style. Meanwhile, I fell in love with theatrical lighting.

Why are you pursuing a master’s degree in lighting design?

Before I worked at ANW, I had no experience working at a theatre, and I almost knew nothing about theatrical lighting design. After the three months, I learned the basic knowledge and gained hands on experience. Studying at a master program, I will be able to get a much deeper understanding of theatrical lighting design. It’s also an opportunity for me to meet and work with professors and classmates who can guide me to become a professional lighting designer.

Ideally, what would you most like to be doing in future?

I would like to work as lighting designer for both film and theatre.

Any advice for fellow women in your field who are just starting out?

As a woman, I do not have the same physical strength as a man, but I can offer a distinctive perspective which is based on my own experiences. Follow your passion, every step is moving closer to the ultimate goal and fulfilling the dream to become a reality.

What was your favorite ANW production?

My favorite ANW production is The Madwoman of Chaillot. I worked on the show since the load in day, I attended the rehearsals, and I worked as lighting board operator on every show of the production. It was the first time I worked on a theatrical production and watched the whole process. The show occupies a special place in my life.

We’re so grateful to have been a part of Qiaoyu’s journey, and we wish her the best of luck at graduate school this fall!

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