Faculty Summer Activities: Tony Galaska, Lighting Designer


This summer, Associate Professor, Tony Galaska, was the lighting designer for two productions at Gablestage in Miami and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  

Tony Galaska

In June, Galaska worked with Gablestage designing lights for Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías. The play, directed by FIU Theatre alumna Victoria Collado, is a sparkling comedy of good intentions and bad manners and the territorial wars that can often spring up between neighbors.  

The review on Florida Theater On Stage noted Galaska’s design. “Kudos are due also to lighting designer Tony Galaska who provides a wide array of times of day and night, plus subtle effects underscoring emotional turmoil,” wrote Bill Hirschman.

Native Gardens is an interesting production about relationships, how we act under pressure, biases and so many more themes that a modern audience connects to in their lives,” says Galaska. “There are specific given circumstances that are needed to tell this story like time of day and weather, but light also has the opportunity to explore emotion, connection, and intensity just like the characters go through. Using light as a tool to show this, helps the audience become part of the story and see themselves in what is happening on stage.” 

Galaska designs frequently for Gablestage. Native Gardens was his seventh production with the company.

NATIVE GARDENS by Karen Zacarias, directed by Victoria Collado, lighting design by Tony Galaska. In the photo, left to right, David Kwiat, Barbara Sloan, Kevin Cruz, and Diana Garle. Photo by Magnus Stark

In July, he worked with Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey designing lights for Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself) by Donald Margulies. The play, a fun theatrical telling of the story of a man who claimed to have survived in the outback for 30 years after being shipwrecked, was staged on the theatre’s Outdoor Stage located on the campus of Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown. This was his 19th season with the company.

“Outdoor theatre is always a challenge for lighting because you have less time due to the sun light,” said Galaska. “The time you do have is very intense and focused on accomplishing the tasks you have and building the show. That intensity was balanced out by the fun and adventure that was taking place on stage. STNJ’s outdoor stage is always a magical place for theatre in the summer.” 

SHIPWRECKED! by Donald Marguiles, directed by Doug West, lighting design by Tony Galaska. In photo: Bruce Cromer.
Photo by Sarah Haley.
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