Stephen Blackburn

Arts Administration, Lighting Design, Project Management, Creative Producing

I have been working in theatre and exhibition design for over twenty-eight years.

I have a sound knowledge of project management, accounting procedure, personnel management, strategic planning, production management and the creative process.

I have worked on projects ranging in scale from small intimate theatre pieces to multi million dollar projects.

My interests are Drama, Dance, Opera, Gardening


  • Founding Secretary of the Wellington Branch of NZATT
  • Founding Chair of the Performing & Interactive Arts Design Guild of Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Past Chair of the Young & Hungry Arts Trust
  • Award winning Lighting Designer
  • Recipient of Creative New Zealand Scholarship for strategic leadership professional development
  • Compiled the Guide for safe Working Practices in the NZ Theatre & Entertainment industry and currently on the committee overseeing its management as a Guide policy document for the industry.


2004, General Manager of Capital E National Theatre for Children

  • Reduced overall activity to improve quality of productions. Introduced ticketing data base.
  • Implemented wider genre vision for the company with greater collaborations within the sector both in production and presenting.
  • Posted five years of operational surpluses.
  • Secured first international tour to Victoria Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House followed by a tour to Singapore.

1999, Technical Co-ordinator National Dance & Developed the course curriculum for Production.

  • Drama Centre Management / Lighting and arts administration units including diploma and degree level.
  • Improved the standard of the graduates.

1994, Production Manager Royal NZ Ballet

  • Every production met budget and in most cases substantial savings allowing the continuance of the company under stringent fiscal times.
  • Supervised the design and fit out of the ballet’s home at the Westpac St James Theatre.

1990, Q Light Consultancy Director

  • Set up my own consultancy based in Leeds UK.
  • Specialising in Museum, visitor centre, dark ride.
  • Design and project management

1987, Senior Technical Designer Heritage Projects UK

  • Involved in company developing the revolution in museum design throughout Europe based on the success of the Jorvik Centre in York.

1986, Chief Electrician Gateway Theatre UK

  • Youngest Chief in Gateway Theatre history aged 21.

1984, Theatre Manager Memorial Theatre NA

  • brief stint at Memorial main achievement opening up venue to greater student use and exploration of other spaces within Student Union buildings for performance usage.

1982–1984, Technical Director Downstage NZ

  • Made Technical Director at age 18.

1980–1982 Technician Downstage Theatre NZ

  • Joined at the age of 15. Became house Equity rep.

Freelance Highlights

  • Designer French Oyster Heritage Centre for Gibson International
  • Lighting Designer for OUR SPACE at Te Papa
  • Lighting Design for Vula winning Designer of the year 2003
  • Production Manager Opera New Zealand
  • Designer / Project Manager Black Country Museum UK
  • Designer / Project Manager Nants & Kings Mill Wales UK
  • Designer /Project Manager Whiskey Museum Edinburgh UK
  • Designer Magna Carta Exhibition Lincoln UK
  • Designer /Project Manager Aeronautics Gallery National Science Museum London UK
  • Designer conceptual Colditz Museum Germany
  • Designer Conceptual Leipzig war Memorial
  • Designer / Project Manager Barrow in Furness Museum
  • Designer Ribchester Roman Museum
  • Designer Cheddar Gorge
  • Designer /Project Manager Canterbury tales
  • Designer /Project Manager The Oxford Story
  • Designer A day at the wells
  • Assistant Electrician at SUNY Campus at Fredonia New York USA
  • Lighting Technician Richmond Theatre London UK
  • Lighting Designer West Yorkshire Playhouse UK
  • Lighting Designer Harrogate Theatre UK
  • Designed and /or Production Managed over 120 productions here and overseas

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