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William O’DonnellWilliam O’Donnell

William O’Donnell


  • B.F.A.: Penn State University
  • M.F.A.: Wayne State University


O'Donnell specializes in the areas of scenery and lighting design.


  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Set Design
  • Lighting Design I and II
  • Theatre History
  • Stagecraft
  • Practicum
  • Scene Painting
  • Introduction to Scene Design
  • Theatrical Makeup

Professional / Academic Memberships

  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • South Eastern Theatre Conference
  • Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties

Awards and Recognitions

  • Service Merit Award from the Faculty Professional Development Committee in 1997
  • Award for 12 years of service to Pittsburgh City Theatre
  • Award for contributions to the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Community from the Cal Rainbow Alliance
  • Regularly mentioned as best of the year for lighting design by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette theater critics

Designs During the Academic School Years

"Christmas Carol," "The Bald Soprano," "Story Theatre," "The Real Inspector Hound," "Crimes of the Heart,"  "The Three Sisters," "The Pirates of Penzance," "Story Theatre," "Fires In the Mirror," "Much Ado About Nothing," "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown," "Strange Love," "Mother Hicks," "Coppelia," "How I Learned to Drive," "The Trickeries of Scapin," "Wiley and the Hairy Man," One-Act Festival (yearly), "The Importance of Being Earnest," "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," "The Marriage of Bette and Boo," "The Nutcracker" (yearly), "The Heidi Chronicles," "Tartuffe," Spring Gala (bi-annually), "The Taming of the Shrew," "Fools, "Mouse that Roared," "Into the Woods," "Alice in Wonderland," "Spring Gala - Led Zeppelin," "As Bees in Honey Drown," "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," "The Robber Bridegroom," "The Memorandum," "In a Room Somewhere" and "Rhinoceros."

Designs for "The Heidi Chronicles," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Tartuffe" were submitted to the American College Theatre Festival.

Producer, Lighting and/or Set Designer with CalRep Pennsylvania

"Sweeney Todd," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Once Upon a Mattress," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Sound of Music," "Annie," "CalRep Cabaret" (yearly), "Music Man," "Rumors," "lolanthe," "The Italian Straw Hat," "Pippin," "Barefoot in the Park," "Grease," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "The Secret Garden," "1776," "Godspell" and "Our Town."

Design Consultant for Other Cal U Events

"The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet," "Treasure Island," "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me," One Act Play Festivals, "Medea," "Cinderella," "Lovers Villains and Fools" and gargoyle design and implementation for "Dracula." International Yeats Festival 1995 - Lighting and Set Design.

Lighting Designs at City Theatre (a professional LORT theater)

"Pavilion," "Hole in the Dark," "Sideman," "Picasso at the Lapine Agile," "Cryptogram," "Sacco and Vanzetti: A Vaudeville," "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," "Raisin in the Sun," "Beast on the Moon," "If We Are Women," "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," "The Caretaker," "From the Mississippi Delta," "Slavs," "Fires in the Mirror," "Dracula," "Paul Robeson," "Jack and Jill," "Denial," "Mondo Mangia" and "Molly Sweeney." Entered design for "Slavs at the USITT Design Expo 1996.

Lighting Designs with the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre

"An Evening With James Joyce," "The Gili Concert," "The Aristocrats," "The Seagull," "Hamlet," "Major Barbara," "Stones in His Pockets" and "Uncle Vanya." The production of "Major Barbara" toured Ireland in the summer of 2003; it was performed in exhibition at the Galway Arts Festival, and in Dublin.

Freelance Design and Service

Tchaikovsky Festival - with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at The Benedum Center; Pittsburgh New Works Festival 1993 - Production Manager and Lighting Designer; "Death of a Salesman" - Lighting Design - Starlight Productions 1998; West Side Story, "The Music Man" and "A Chorus Line" - with Gargaro Productions.

  • Lighting Designer with the Three Rivers Arts Festival, the Pittsburgh Dance Council and City Theatre
  • Poster design for The Arts and Heritage Festival of Carnegie 1996
  • Designer for the Arts and Heritage Festival of Carnegie 1993.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Chartiers Valley Arts Council 1991-1993

Professional Experience

  • Resident Lighting Designer - City Theatre, 1986-2002
  • Production Manager / Lighting Designer - Pittsburgh New Works Festival, 1991-1993
  • Resident Designer / Salesperson - Flexitrol Lighting Co., 1989-1993
  • Freelance Scenery and Lighting Designer: Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, Gargaro Productions, Dance Alloy, Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Upstairs Theatre, Starlight Productions, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, 1986-present
  • Stage Manager - Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, 1986-1987
  • Resident Scenery and Lighting Designer - Pittsburgh Playhouse, 1987-1989
  • Set and Lighting Designer - Wilkes-Barre Ballet, 1983-1986
  • Tour Manager / Lighting Designer - Boris Goldovski Opera Company, 1981-1982
  • Freelance Lighting Designer and/or Electrician - New England Dinosaur Dance Company, Boston Shakespeare Company, Charleston Working Theatre, Boston Ballet, Opera Company of Boston, BN Productions, American Repertory Theatre, Hartman Theatre, Lake George Opera Festival, Opera New England, Charles Theatre, 1981-1982
  • Designer and Road Electrician - American Festival Ballet, 1979-1980
  • Electrician, Assistant Designer - Utah Shakespearean Festival, 1977-1979
  • Graduate Assistant, Electrician - Hilberry Classic Repertory Theatre, 1977-1979

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Theatre and Dance

Academic Program(s)

  • B.A. Theatre