Amanda Kircher is a freelance theatrical and entertainment lighting designer and technician. She was born and raised in Washington D.C. Her journey began her freshman year of high school when she signed up for the Tech Crew of Fiddler on the Roof. Over the next four years she would find that her true passion was for art of light. In 2007 she completed her first lighting design: Les Miserables. With this show, she discovered how much of an effect manipulating color, texture, movement, and intensity can have on an audience. She was hooked.
She went on to study at the University of Pittsburgh where she double majored in Theatre Arts and History. While at Pitt, she studied stage management and lighting design under Annmarie Duggan. She also became the electrics workstudy and logged hundreds of hours in the electrics shop and participated in over sixty hangs and focuses in all three spaces (Proscenium, Black Box, and Thrust). Her mainstage designs at Pitt were Alice and As You Like It. Both designs earned her the Certificate of Merit from KCACTF and the Best Lighting Design Award from the Pitt Theatre Arts Department. In 2010, Amanda won the Shirley Custer Memorial Award. The Shirley Custer is given to a college student attending any university located in the Pittsburgh area who shows great promise in the world of theatre. This was the first time the award had ever been given to a technician.
During college Amanda was also heavily involved in Pitt’s USITT student chapter. In 2010-2011, she became president of the chapter, and headed the first ever collaboration between the Musical Theatre Club and USITT.
Amanda spent her summers working for Creative Productions and X-Laser, in Laurel, MD. Her summer experiences gave her a different perspective on the art of light and how light can be used. She designed over 100 mobile lighting rigs for corporate events, weddings, and various other functions. Her experience in the mobile world gave her a very strong grasp on the art of problem solving. Unlike Theatre, there isn’t a week to work out all the kinks; there is only a few hours. She learned if something does not go as planned there’s no time to get upset; you have to solve it and move on because no matter what 1500 people are going to walk in the door whether the rig is up not.
Amanda’s mobile production experience molded her into a designer who is not afraid to use bold colors and textures. Her understanding of putting lights to music gave her a unique ability to design effective and motivated moving light cues for theatre.
After graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and History in 2011, Amanda moved to Philadelphia, PA and became the Production Management Apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre. Her apprenticeship allowed her to have a very well rounded perspective of all aspects of producing theatre. While at the Walnut, Amanda was asked to be the Assistant Lighting Designer for A Christmas Carol, and then asked to design the Walnut’s touring production of Around the World in 80 Days. After her apprenticeship, she continued to work as the electrics overhire for all mainstage load-ins and strikes.
Amanda’s other projects include being the Assistant Technical Director for her former High School, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School for girls. At Visitation, she is allowed to bring her experiences from the professional world back to the place where it all began for her. Amanda is passionate about teaching and truly enjoys seeing the students transform from girls who have never picked up a hammer to young women who can successfully design, build, hang, focus, and execute productions with very little adult assistance.
Amanda strongly believes in the art of collaboration and positive energy. She believes the efficacy of the message of any production lies in the quality of the process of its creation. Every project Amanda has ever done, she has devoted her whole self to seeing that her contributions to the process are only positive and collaborative. Amanda hopes to have a very long design career and will go wherever the wind takes her to ensure she can continue to design and create meaningful pieces of art.
Education & Training
- BA - Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh, (Summa Cum Laude) 2011