In Memoriam: Peter West, Lighting Designer

by Michael Eddy
Peter West
Peter West
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Lighting Designer Peter West passed away from cancer at his home in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY on August 18, 2017 at the age of 55. West was born in Heswall, England and grew up in Blacksburg, VA. He attended Community School in Roanoke, VA and graduated from Blacksburg High School. He graduated from Guilford College with a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Speech and completed graduate training at the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard.

West taught at Williams College, was an Adjunct Lighting Design lecturer at Brooklyn College, and mentored students at Fordham University. He lit over 60 productions for The Juilliard School Drama Division (including Appropriate, Macbeth, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Buried Child, My Children, My Africa, Circle Mirror Transformation, Ghosts) and was a long-time associate of Red Bull Theater (The Changeling, 'Tis A Pity She's a Whore, Pericles, Revenger's Tragedy, Edward the Second, Women Beware Women, The Witch of Edmonton, The Maids, Volpone, The Mystery of Irma Vep). Other productions included work at The Public, Manhattan School of Music, New York Theater Workshop, The Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Rep, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Cal Shakes, Roundabout/Studio 54, Pig Iron Theater, Spoleto Festival, American Dance Festival, Playmakers, Barbican UK, and Huntington.

West designed the NETworks tour of Kiss of the Spiderwoman in both America and Japan. Other international credits include designs at the Teatro Filharmonico in Verona, Italy, at the Artsphere Theater in Tokyo, and with Endemol Productions in the Netherlands. He toured throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia as the Lighting Director of the White Oak Dance Project. His most recent production was The Government Inspector for Red Bull Theater at the Duke Theater and New World Stages in New York. West collaborated with notable directors including Jesse Berger, Martha Clarke, Richard Feldman, Daniel Fish, Michael Kahn, Michael Mayer, Lila Neugebauer, Orlando Pabotoy, and many others, as well as with dancers and choreographers such as Edisa Weeks, Amy Spencer and Richard Colton.

He was proud to be a long-time member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829 and the Park Slope Food Coop. He is survived by his beloved wife of 20 years, Katherine Hood of Brooklyn, NY; his mother, Lindsay West of Blacksburg, VA; his brother and his wife, Roger and Debbie West of Silver Spring, MD; his sister and her husband, Susan and Bill Marmagas of Blacksburg, VA; and his five nephews and nieces, Nicholas, Daniel, Tyler, Tasia, and Elektra.

The Peter West Theater Artist Fund has been created at West's request to support the artistic and professional development of a theater artist by providing an opportunity for them to collaborate with the director Daniel Fish whose rigor and artistry was deeply influential to Peter's work. If you are interested in contributing to this fund, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.

Contributions in West's name may also be made to Commonweal's Cancer Help Program (CCHP) located in Bolinas, CA. In June 2011, West and Hood participated in a CCHP week-long retreat gaining balanced information on choices in healing and mainstream and complementary therapies; exploring emotional and spiritual dimensions of cancer; discovering that illness can sometimes lead to a richer and fuller life; and experiencing genuine community with others facing a cancer diagnosis. Visit https://commonweal.morwebcms.com/CHP and enter West's name in the space provided.

A memorial to remember and honor Peter West will be held on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 5 p.m. at The Juilliard School in New York City.