Lighting Design



Lighting Designs by
John McKernon
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JOHN McKERNON has been designing lighting for over thirty years, in a wide range of venues.  Recent designs include the 2006 New York production of The Trip to Bountiful, which earned him Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design.  He also designed the Broadway, Off-Broadway, and London productions of Jelly Roll! starring Vernel Bagneris, as well as subsequent national tours.  Over the years he has lit plays, musicals, ballets, modern dance companies, religious pageants, galas, dance festivals, restaurants, and nightclubs for clients across the United States, Europe, and Asia.  He has designed shows starring many well-known performers, including Carol Channing, Lois Smith, Sigourney Weaver, Earle Hyman, Liv Ullman, John Lithgow, Oba Babatunde, and Glenn Close, and for two years served as a lighting supervisor for the United States tour of Riverdance.

Regionally and Off Broadway, he has designed an eclectic range of shows including The Piano Lesson, Singular Sensations, The Who’s Tommy, Kiss Me Kate, Fiddler on the Roof, Orpheus Descending, A Map of the World, Crazy for You, The School of Jolly Dogs, Othello, Gypsy, Dracula, Further Mo’, Hot Chocolate, and the Mahagonny Songspiel.

He also designs lighting for both modern and classical dance, including multiple productions of The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Giselle, Coppelia, and Sleeping Beauty, for companies ranging from the North Carolina Dance Theatre to Oregon Ballet Theatre, as well as eighteen years of work with Pearl Lang.

In New York, he has lit numerous galas and concerts featuring stars such as Betty Buckley, Chita Rivera, Victor Garber, Judy Kaye, Dorothy Loudon, Eva Gabor, Ann Reinking, Gwen Verdon, Art Garfunkel, Burl Ives, Jason Robards, Beverly Sills, Lynn Redgrave, Pete Seeger, and Peter, Paul, and Mary.

He has been an associate designer to Ken Billington since 1984, with whom he has worked on many prominent Broadway, Off-Broadway, and national tour productions, including the Broadway productions of Chicago and Inherit the Wind as well as An Evening with Jerry Herman, Drowning Crow, Lettice & Lovage, Chess, The Lisbon Traviata, Lips Together Teeth Apart, West Side Story, Nunsense, Sweet Sue, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Newyorkers, Sylvia, Time and Again, The Belle of Amherst, Annie Get Your Gun, Annie Warbucks, Late Nite Comic, and The Red Shoes.  In addition to the Broadway production, he continues to supervise the lighting of both national and international tours of Chicago.

As architectural lighting supervisor for KB Associates, Inc. he has been involved in the design of many outstanding restaurants, nightclubs, and other attractions, including Tavern on the Green and the Russian Tea Room in New York, King Xmhu in Sapporo, Aba Daba Disco in Phuket, Sea World in Orlando, and Gladstone’s at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles.  His most recent projects include a new trading center for SAC Capital Management Ltd. and renovations to the Rocking Horse Cafe.

He is also the author of Lightwright, the industry standard software for theatrical lighting designers and electricians around the world, which has received numerous honors, including the 2004 Eddy Award as Lighting Product of the Year, the LDI Lighting Tools and Software Product of the Year award in both 1998 and 2003, and was named as one of the Products That Changed Our World, by Lighting Dimensions Magazine.  He recently released the fifth generation of Lightwright.

Since 2004 he also has been an adjunct faculty member at the Tisch School of the Arts Department of Design for Stage and Film at New York University.