CMC Speaker Spotlight: Jim Lenahan

Jim Lenahan, scenic/lighting/video designer for such acts as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Barry Manilow, and Lady Antebellum, joins the second annual Concert Master Classes in Los Angeles at USC in December.

Lenahan will co-host a session on December 3 with Steve Cohen titled Concert Lighting Design: The Blank Page. The two will discuss what happens once an idea approved, whether or not to design your own set, collaborating with the production team, and artist for creative concerns. They will also present techniques of designing, evolving the design from a nugget of an idea, illustrating it, drafting it, revising content creation, and the issue of I-Mag.

"I'll be talking about three scenarios--designing a set that someone else lights, lighting a set that someone else designs, and doing both jobs yourself," says Lenahan. For this designer, that includes designing the set for Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow tour that was lit by Graham Nichol, designing lighting for Jennifer Lopez with a set designed by Fabian Herrera, and designing both lighting and sets for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Lehanan will also participate in the panel discussion Fixture Choices: Spots, Washes, Conventional, Automated, and LEDs, with other faculty members Anne Militello, Steve Cohen, Butch Allen, and Jeff Ravitz.

Lenahan received an honors degree in Theatrical Scenic Design from the University of Florida in 1973 and then did production at Walt Disney World until Tom Petty invited him to California where he has designed lights, scenery, and video for every Petty tour since then in the US and in 27 other countries. He has also designed scenery and/or lighting and video for Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Sarah McLachlan, Jane’s Addiction, Jennifer Lopez, Avril Lavigne, Lady Antebellum, Korn, John Legend, Santana, X Japan, The Backstreet Boys, Trisha Yearwood, Boz Scaggs, David Lee Roth, Third Eye Blind, Barenaked Ladies, Toby Keith, Jackson Browne, and Barry Manilow, among others.

He has also lectured on production design at UCLA, USC, The University of Florida, and North Carolina School of the Arts. As a consultant at Walt Disney Imagineering, he designed lighting for the Disney Fest Asia tour, special effects lighting for Disney’s Aida on Broadway, and video projection for the renovation of Space Mountain. Lenahan has also designed and/or directed many music videos and ran a scene shop where supervised construction of scenery for more than 30 Equity theatre productions.

For more information about the Concert Master Classes or to register, check out our CMC web page. Check out the full schedule here.

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