Friday, 29 January 2016

On 21 January 2016, as it welcomed members of the Industry to its Embassy Theatre for the annual Association of Lighting Designer’s (ALD) New Technology Showcase, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was delighted to announce the establishment of the Richard Pilbrow Scholarship.

With special thanks to alumnus and renowned lighting designer Richard Pilbrow for his generosity, the Richard Pilbrow Scholarship will support a young lighting designer at the School as they undertake the training necessary to embark upon their professional career.

Richard Pilbrow is both a graduate and an Honorary Fellow of Central, as well as an internationally renowned stage lighting designer, author, theatre design consultant and theatre, film and television producer.  He is a pioneer of modern stage lighting in Britain, and his work has been seen in London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Moscow.  He was chosen by fellow Central alumnus Sir Laurence Olivier to be lighting director and later theatre consultant to the National Theatre of Great Britain, and he was the first British lighting designer to design the lighting for a Broadway musical (Zorba)

He is also the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Theatre Projects Consultants.  Under his leadership, Theatre Projects has become the pre-eminent theatre consulting organisation in the world with its team of artistic, management, architectural, design and technical specialists combining to offer a unique service to those engaged in the planning and design of theatres, concert halls and arts centers.  Theatre Projects has designed and consulted on venues including the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres in Chicago, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. 

Of the Scholarship, Richard Pilbrow commented:

“I’m thrilled to be able to make a scholarship contribution to The Royal Central School.  Central started me off in the right direction on a career as a lighting designer, producer and theatre design consultant.  Today, British theatre technology leads the world and a great career awaits the committed and passionate young technician/ designer/ stage manager.  I wish them every success.” 

Nick Moran, Senior Lecturer in Lighting for Live Performance, and Course Leader for Theatre Lighting Design and Production Lighting said:

“Here at Central we are always aware that when our students fly high and achieve their ambitious goals they are standing on the shoulders of the industry giants who preceded them.  For many of our lighting students, first among those shoulders is Richard Pilbrow, Central Alumnus and Fellow, founding member and President of the ALD, and now the name behind our first scholarship for lighting students – helping to make it possible for young people who might otherwise not be able to consider studying theatre lighting design to do so.”

The Scholarship announcement coincided with the School’s hosting of the ALD New Technology Showcase.  The annual event, which was sponsored this year by White Light and Ambersphere Solutions, provides lighting designers and technicians with an opportunity to explore and compare the latest lighting technologies on the market. The focus of 2016 was on moving lights with shutters and static LED profiles and pars.  The annual event is itself planned, rigged, programmed and hosted by Central’s 2nd Year Theatre Lighting Design and Production Lighting students, together with event staff from White Light.

Of the New Technology Showcase, Nick Moran commented:

“It’s hard to over estimate how much our students learn through the process of planning, building, programming and hosting this event, and we are very grateful to everyone who makes it possible, especially White Light Limited and Ambersphere, and of course the ALD.”

I’m thrilled to be able to make a scholarship contribution to The Royal Central School.  Central started me off in the right direction on a career as a lighting designer, producer and theatre design consultant.

Richard Pilbrow