Meet the lighting designers for Miracle in Bedford Falls, Lisa Weinshrott Kimmel & Michael Kimmel.
When did you decide to become a lighting designer and why?
Lisa started her journey in high school as a follow spot operator backstage. She focused a lot of lights, ran a light board, and finally got to program the lights. Lighting design became a hobby and part time job during college where she earned a BS in Microbiology.
Many years later she met Michael who got his start in lighting at University of California Santa Barbara. He was a computer science major when someone asked him to work backstage at a touring dance show. Shortly after, he switched his major and a few years later received his degree in theatre!
In 2001, they met at Millbrook Playhouse in PA. Lisa was the Stage Manager and Michael the Lighting Designer. After that summer, Lisa decided to give entertainment a go, and moved from Wisconsin to the NYC area. After a few years of competing for the same jobs, Lisa and Michael decided to join forces and quickly became a dynamic design duo and formed Sharp Edge Lighting Design!
What kind of education prepared you for this career?
For Lisa it was many years of dance and playing an instrument. “I have learned so much about musicality, space, relationships, timing, movement, etc. I strongly believe this has made helped me develop the skills I’ve used to become the designer that I am today, especially for musicals.”
Michael’s training was conventional and through school. Working with Lisa has made him realize the importance of music training at some point in your life.
What is your favorite part of designing lighting for Miracle at Bedford Falls?
Our favorite part is knowing that we are part of production that will be seen by thousands of students. Hopefully this production and others at Orlando REP will inspire them to get involved in theatre, be it onstage or backstage. We enjoy mentoring students in various schools across the country and being invited to be part of Orlando REP is very exciting
What are three words you would use to describe this production?
Life has purpose.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Most of the time Lisa and Michael spend their holidays working, so they try to find something unique to do that is far from traditional!