David I. Taylor

Theatre consultant and lighting designer David Taylor, a friend and dear colleague, passed away on Sunday 16 January, at the tragically early age of 48.

We shared many thrilling times together, and arduous travels too. His passion for theatre and music made him a brilliant theatre consultant. His fierce loyalty to the arts, and to his clients, made him a ferocious fighter in the battle for better theatres around the world.

His enthusiasm, expertise, and total commitment endeared him to his clients and their users, to architects and other consultants, as well as to contractors and suppliers. His always-boyish excitement inspired many around him.

Lighting design remained a central passion to David. This was exemplified by his on-going work for Nicholas Kent at London's Tricycle theatre, that was seen most recently on tour in the US and in New York with "The Great Game: Afghanistan."

He was a pivotal member of the Theatre Projects team from 1985 to 2006, first in the UK, and then playing a major role in our pioneering work across America, becoming a member of the Board of Directors. Among his many projects were the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York, the Chicago Shakespeare and Goodman Theaters in Chicago, the Kimmell Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Dallas AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Benaroya Concert Hall, Seattle, and the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. He was rightly proud of his contribution to the Kodak, that on every Oscar-TV night is seen by more people than perhaps ever visited theatre before in human history.

David attended the University of London, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he was on a theatre research scholarship. He had lighting and scenery credits for more than 100 productions in the UK and worldwide. He was a member of the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD), the Society of Theatre Consultants (STC) and a member of ISPA, ABTT and USITT. David was a member of the Governing Body of the Entertainment Services & Technology Association (ESTA). He was a frequent contributor to theatre technology magazines in the UK and US.

Our paths had parted with his move from Theatre Projects to head Arup Performance Venue consulting, but I remained a great admirer.

Finally, we shared a great love for the Scottish Hebridean Islands, where we were both blessed with summer hideaway homes.

I, like so many of his colleagues and friends, am devastated.

Our deepest love and sympathy go to his wife, Sara, and their two boys, of whom he was so very proud, Oliver and Sebastian.

Richard Pilbrow
Thursday, January 20, 2011