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The Hemsley Lighting Programs 16th Annual Lighting Portfolio Review

Stage Directions • Theatre Buzz • January 29, 2020

The Hemsley Lighting Programs 16th annual Lighting Portfolio Review will be held March 27-29, 2020 in New York City at Ballet Hispanico Studios – 167 West 89th Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam). This unique opportunity will allow graduate lighting students to enter into an extended dialogue with leading theater professionals for critique of their portfolios. The day-long format allows time for informal question-and-answer sessions about professional life as well as networking opportunities with peers, Broadway production electricians, working designers, and artistic directors.

The transition of a student to the professional world is one of the most anticipated and intimidating moments of a young designer’s life. Despite the years of training and hard work, the leap into the unknown can be nerve-racking. The Hemsley Lighting Portfolio Review is designed to give the student a chance to meet first- hand with professional designers so that they can improve their portfolios and get answers and advice from those already working in the industry.

With over 30 years of experience in offering training opportunities to young designers, the Hemsley Lighting Programs honor the life and spirit of Gilbert V. Hemsley Jr., who was dedicated to helping students in lighting and life. The Hemsley Lighting Portfolio Review continues this mission of creating opportunities to assist students in their transition to the professional world.

The Portfolio Review Overview

Each student should prepare two different ways of presenting your work – interview/portfolio style and an exhibit/display style. During the day on Sunday, you will participate in 4 individual review sessions. These sessions will be at tables that are not part of your exhibit area. Each of these sessions will last approximately 30-40 minutes and will alternate with a free session in between.

During your free sessions in the morning you will join an informal Roundtable hosted this year by a diverse assortment of Associate Broadway Designers who will speak about a variety of subjects relating to you as you get started on your careers. These Roundtable sessions will not require you to show your work, but will provide an opportunity to discuss with the designer topics about careers as Lighting Designers. The afternoon free sessions will provide time to set up your display for the evening exhibit and reception.

How to Apply

Participants are nominated by their academic advisors.  Letters of nomination can be sent via email to and must be received before February 15, 2020  Students must be in the final year of their degree program.  MFA nominations are given priority unless the student attends a university or college that doesn’t have a graduate program.  Additional undergraduate nominations will be considered as space allows.

Please direct questions and applications to:

Mark Stanley
Resident Lighting Designer
New York City Ballet

20 Lincoln Center
NYC, NY 10023

Further information and schedule information from the Hemsley Lighting Portfolio Review:

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