Richard Devin

Boulder, ColoradoDevin

Inducted as a Fellow: 1986

Your earliest memories of the Institute?

I joined USITT in 1969, the first year out of graduate school, and attended the 1970 Annual Conference in New York City. One of my earliest memories was the Fellows address, I think at the ’70 conference, by Ned Bowman in a small room, attended primarily by Fellows and a few others like myself.

Favorite USITT memory?

The most powerful memories of USITT to me are those of getting to know the great people of our industry, such as Eddie Kook, Jo Mielziner, Harold Burris-Meyer, Joel Rubin, Peggy Clark, Don Stowell, Lee Watson, Oren Parker, Richard Pilbrow – to run into them at a conference and discover what approachable, lovely people we have an opportunity to work with in USITT and in our profession.    

Short list of career highlights:

  • BA in Drama, University of Northern Iowa
  • MFA in Theatre Engineering, Yale School of Drama
  • Lighting Designer with over 40 regional theatre companies, Off-Broadway, and theatres in Tokyo, Cairo, and Hong Kong.  Theatre Consultant for numerous projects.  Managing Director, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Theatre Three in Philadelphia; Producing Artistic Director, Colorado Shakespeare Festival.  Professor of Theatre Design, Temple University, University of Washington School of Drama, University of Colorado. 

Short list of your involvement in the Institute:

Founding Chair of Pacific Northwest Section; Chair of 1979 Annual Conference in Seattle; Washington; First Co-Commissioner of Lighting & Sound Commission; VP for Commissions and Projects: President, 1988-1990; Chair of Nominations Committee; Chair of Awards Committee; Grants and Fellowships Committee; Fellow of the Institute; Joel E. Rubin Founder’s Award; Lifetime Membership Award.

If you were to make a short list of the memorable USITT characters that have made a difference to you, who would they be?

Far too many to do them all justice:  Will Bellman, Joel Rubin, Pat MacKay, Chris Kaiser, Randy Earle, Chuck Williams, Sarah Nash Gates, Jim Moody, George Izenour, Lee Watson, Harvey Sweet, Tim Kelly, Ed Kook, Joy Emery, Bob Scales, Kim Williamson, Charles Elson, and many more!

Anything you want to say about being a Fellow?

It’s a great honor to be included with the impressive list of Fellows of the Institute and to have the opportunity to continue working with so many of them.

Anything you'd like to add about what the USITT means to you personally?

Volunteer work with USITT has, for many of us, allowed for professional growth in leadership and organizational skills, as well has providing opportunities to make industry contacts and friendships that have been life-long important relationships.  If we examine the careers of many who have become university department chairs, deans and even presidents; managing directors and artistic directors of theatres; and top level managers of related corporations, it is clear that leadership opportunities in USITT have helped us to develop as professionals in other important parts of our lives.

List of books that you recommend about the field:

  • Theatre Management, Producing and Managing the Performing Arts, Stephen Langley and David Conte.
  • Management and the Arts, William J. Byrnes
  • The Business of Theatrical Design, James Moody
  • Lighting the Stage, Art and Practice, Willard Bellman
  • Stage Lighting Design, The Art, The Craft, The Life, Richard Pilbrow
  • Concert Lighting, James Moody


Always pleased to have colleagues contact me for help on any subject: teaching, design, management, career development – anything!