With a passion for history, folktales, and people’s story in general, Shane strives to create an environment for the world of the narrative. Shane is a scenic designer, artist and educator, developing a thoughtful world through scenery and innovation for professional and educational theatre. Having designed productions across the United States, he has a strong background in new and conceptual works for theatre and opera. For the Bloomington Playwrights Project he has served as the Resident Scenic Designer/Artist and returns regularly as a guest designer. He also worked for the Jacobs School of Music- Musical Arts Center in the fields of painting and properties on new and remounted opera and ballet productions. Shane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and in History from Indiana University-Bloomington. He also received his Masters of Fine Arts in Scenic Design from the Ohio State University.
Derek’s journey into the arts began as an actor and musician. As his interest in live performance grew, he transitioned into design, collaborating on works for fashion, museum, dance, and theater along the eastern seaboard including New York, Washington D.C., and Virginia.
Derek leads the Panda Roja team with unending creative energy and technical prowess. His experience as a college professor and his passionate attention to detail have positioned Derek as an instrumental manager and mentor. He directs his team to focus on Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration for every project.
Derek grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and moved to DC for almost a decade. After stints in Indiana and Maine, Derek moved to LA to pursue architectural lighting. Since then, he has enjoyed it so much that he has set up roots in LA while still traveling across the country to complete projects. His favorite hobby is traveling the world to ride roller coasters.
Derek received both a BA in Theatre and BS in Physics from The George Washington University and his MFA in Lighting Design from Indiana University.
Christopher Rhoton is a freelance Scenic Designer located in Chicago, Illinois. Credits include productions at the Marriott Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Music Theatre Works, Porchlight Music Theatre and more. Other notable credits include work with Busch Gardens Tampa and Hollywood Bowl. World. premieres include BEAU: A NEW MUSICAL, THE LIFE AND SLIMES OF MARC SUMMERS, THE UNCIVIL WAR and MAKE ME BAD.
He holds an M.F.A. in Scenic Design from Indiana University (2015) and a B.S. in Theatre Direction & Design from Middle Tennessee State University (2009). Christopher is a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. For more information, visit www.Christopher-Rhoton.com.
YOUR DESIGNER IDENTITY: EMERGING or NATIONAL
Because representation matters – and to create an inclusive and responsible submission process to identify excellence in design — USITT expands the PQ23 “student” label into a broader realm for all Emerging Designers.
USITT feels Emerging Designers are rising designers within five years of embracing their unique identity as a practicing visual creator in any genre of performance. This designation captures not only graduate and undergraduate students, but anyone who identifies as a rising designer.
In these submissions, designers self-select the category—National Designer or Emerging Designer—that better represents their design work. They were asked to note connections held with USITT Affinity Groups and Design Approaches listed fully on the Your Designer Identity page.