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Michael Maag

Lighting and Projections Designer

Michael Maag designs at the intersection of lighting and projections for theatre, dance, musicals, opera, and in planetariums across the United States. He sculpts with light and shadow to create lighting environments that tell a story, believing that lighting in support of the performance is the key to unlocking our audience’s emotions. He has built custom optics for projections in theatres, museums and planetariums, and also designs and builds electronics and lighting for costumes and scenery. As a paraplegic, Michael is passionate about bringing the perspective of the disabled artist to technical theatre. He is currently the Resident Lighting Designer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Production Designer for Kinetic Light. His designs and creations have been seen on the Festival’s stages for the last 20 years, as well as at Arena Stage, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Florida Studio Theatre, and many other places.

two actors onstage
The Importance of Including the Disabled Designers
Essay

The Importance of Including the Disabled Designers

29 May 2019

Mallory Kay Nelson and Michael Maag talk about the low number of full-time designers working in theatre; the realities of costume, lighting, and projection design as a disabled artist; and how delegation is a skill they’ve both had to master.