Q+A with Resident Lighting Designer Sinead Wallace

We chatted with award-winning lighting designer Sinead Wallace about the benefits of further education for lighting designers, specifically within The Lir Academy's MFA in Stage Design (Set, Costume, Lighting).

You can watch in interview with Sinead at this link.

Tell us about you and your experience as a lighting designer.

I'm the Lighting Design Tutor on the MFA program and I'm also a professional life designer I've been working as a lighting designer for about 20 years, both throughout Ireland and touring internationally.

I've been leading the light and design module on the MFA in stage design since 2017 so I bring that experience to the course. There are also opportunities to come with me to work observe designers in work and experience different lighting designers' approach to lighting design as an art form.

How is lighting design taught on the MFA?

The MFA in lighting design is set up as a series of projects on which you learn so it's kind of mentored learning through experience. Each project begins with a series of technical workshops so we build the technical tools necessary to be a lighting designer. Running parallel to that, we build creative skills through exploring and observing the world and thinking about how as designers and human beings, we see and experience light. These tools and observations come together in those collaborative discussions and workshops where we work with other students

We also work with professional choreographers at the beginning of their careers and students from other dance programmess to work together and figure out these languages of light and movement.

Who would be suitable for the course?

The people who might be interested in this course is twofold - maybe someone who's already doing some design and wants to spend a bit more time investing in their practice. Someone who feels like they've hit a wall in their design practice and just need to dedicate some thought and some space to expand their knowledge around design, both technically and also in that kind of collaborative art of making theatre with other people. Or maybe someone who's working as a technician already who thinks design looks interesting, who's seen a lot of designs being realised and wants to explore working in that area.

Why would you recommend the MFA in Stage Design (Set, Costume, Lighting)?

As a graduate of Trinity's Drama and Theatre Studies programme, I wished this course existed when I was first starting out, as do many of my peers. It was designed by professional designers working in Ireland and I feel like it would have filled all those gaps in my knowledge over the first 10 years of my career.

The MFA in Stage Design for Lighting Design, Costume Design and Set Design is a one-year programme with a practical focus for professionals looking to specialise in their chosen field or combination of disciplines.

You can see more about the course at the link here.

Applications close July 1st.