Collins talks theater tech


Ryan Teran

An SBP Technical Theater class learns how Broadway lighting expert Brian Collins got his start.

Ryan Teran, Staff Writer

On Wednesday morning, a man named Brian Collins talked to the Technical Theater class in the Conlin Auditorium. Mr. Collins runs the lighting console for The Lion King Broadway productions. The class was learning about how the lights function within a theater. 

Mr. Collins, who is married to Assistant Headmaster Michelle Tuorto, said he became interested in lighting in high school when he decided to volunteer in his school’s theater. His intention was to be the drummer, but that position was already taken so he accepted the offer with his friend to volunteer in the lighting department.

Ryan Teran
Theater lighting expert Brian Collins shares his knowledge with SBP students.

 After that experience, he started volunteering with small community theaters. “One of the biggest reasons I chose this career was because I really enjoyed being around the people I was meeting in the theater,” Collins said. “I also find myself drawn to the spectacle and excitement that can be created with stage lighting.” 

He added he is fascinated with the ability stage lighting experts have to recreate “a version of what we see outside.”

What was a hobby became a career of many years. He currently runs the lighting console for The Lion King production, a job he has worked for about 2 1⁄2 years.

 A student asked if Mr. Collins believed he had mastered the techniques of lighting in theater.  Mr. Collins responded by saying, “I feel like I’ve gone pretty far and I’m definitely learning.” 

Students in the class said they were impressed with Mr. Collins’ talk and the complexity of his task. “It’s a pretty hard job and I don’t think that there’s enough credit to it,” said Criston Brown.  Another student, Jose Robles, said he was inspired. “It gave me like some kind of an idea of working in the theater,” Robles said. 

Ms. Patricia Flynn, the teacher of the class and the adviser of SBP’s Drama Guild, invites Mr. Collins every year to present to her class to give them knowledge about theater lighting. “I think that it is important that the children hear from the voice of somebody working in the profession at a very high level,” she said.