FIU Theatre Professor Tony Galaska designed the lighting for the current production of “A Most Dangerous Woman” by Cathy Templesman, directed by Richard Maltby, Jr., for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
When we spoke with him about this project, he told us how his relationship with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) has spanned 8 years. “Looking back on the memories, there were rough times [after an accident where he broke his leg] but there were fun times,” and that even setting the lighting for a show (while rolling around on stage in a wheelchair) was engaging, albeit challenging. He talked about the “strong sense of community” that brings him back every year, as well as the great work that the company continually produces.
Galaska first started at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey as a graduate intern in 2005. He’s worked there once or twice each season as a lighting designer ever since. It is a coveted honor to be asked to work more than one show a season with this company, as they like to rotate through designers (a small group of 8 or 9) so each can provide a different vision for the next show.
The main experience he brings to his teaching, learned from nearly a decade with the company, is time management. Specifically, he says that “you have to be ready to go, know where to be” and that a “working environment really is, first hand, trusting the knowledge [of design] and background.” STNJ produces shows which perform to large crowds, New York Times reviewers, and more – which means everyone is on the top of their game.
STNJ also focuses on education, as their summer professional training program has trained FIU Theatre student Dong Truong and two recent grads, Katherine Paez and Liza Perez (Liza is even the lighting designer for our first show of the 2013-2014 season – Cardenio – in the WPAC Black Box). During their internships, the students took classes and workshops at the company. This opportunity allows them first hand experience, as well as the chance to work with seasoned professionals and receive feedback from them on portfolios and resumes.
Here are some photos of Tony’s work with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey: