Fountain Of Youth: 2013 Young Designer to Watch, Micah Stieglitz, Projection Designer

Residence: San Francisco Bay Area

Current project(s): Projection fesign for Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo at San Francisco Playhouse and A Bright New Boise at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley.

Most notable achievements: I recently had the opportunity to design for Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A Graphic Novel Play in San Francisco and take it to the New York Fringe Festival. The play was well received in both locations and was the first design that was seen on both coasts.

When I started in this industry: High school is where I first got the theatre design bug and knew that I wanted to work in the theatre industry. It wasn’t until my undergraduate career at Western Michigan University where I got to do projections and found my niche in performance.


How I got into this industry: Graduate school at Arizona State University is what ultimately started me in the direction of working in the industry and not just in education. I gained a more discernible eye in my designs, learned industry standards, and started to figure out how I can apply myself to the industry. After graduation, I worked for a year at the Yale School of Drama and Repertory Theatre as head projections technician. My design career was jump-started when I moved to the Bay Area with my wife where I was able to focus on my design work.

Influences: Kevin Abbott at Western Michigan University and Jacob Pinholster at Arizona State University are two of my top influences in getting me to where I am today. Kevin introduced me to projections, and Jacob encouraged me as a designer and enabled me with all of the tools needed to work in the industry. I’m also inspired by the works of Robert Lapage and Ex Machina, Cirque du Soleil, Mode Studios, and Obscura Digital.

Worst advice I’ve ever heard: “Don’t outright take credit for other people’s work, but don’t acknowledge the work that other people have put in to help you.” In all honesty, credit should be given where credit is due.

Best advice I’ve ever heard: “Don’t treat the technology you work with as a crutch because ultimately the technology is not important. What is important is what you do with it and how you use it.”

In The Time Of The Butterflies (photo Rich Ryan)

My favorite thing about the production industry: The fact that I get to work with so many extremely talented people that all work together on a collaborative project creating things out of thin air.

Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Projecting onto a 3D surface to accentuate, and sometimes break, its inherent architecture.

Plans for the future: Finding more ways to incorporate projections into live performances in a compelling way while working on more shows and meeting new people.

Other interests/side gigs: I like to dabble in photography, enjoy the outdoors, and going wine tasting with my wife, Erin, in Sonoma.

Awards, honors: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Meritorious Achievement for Media Designer of The Skriker at Arizona State University.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.