T.J. Gerckens, Associate Professor, & Department Chair, Theatre & Dance
T.J. Gerckens (Lighting Design) is the lighting design faculty member at Otterbein University, a USA829 Union Lighting Designer, and proud Otterbein Alum. At Otterbein he has designed the lighting for productions such as Fiddler on the Roof, Is He Dead?, Dance 2015: Famously Yours, Dance 2014: Tell-Tale Poe, and Into the Woods. As a freelance lighting designer T.J. has been part of the design team for the Tony Award winner and MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Mary Zimmerman for the last 23 years. Most recently he designed Mary Zimmerman’s productions of Wonderful Town at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Guys and Dolls in L.A., her world-premiere adaptation of Treasure Island, at the Lookingglass Theatre and Berkeley Rep and Dan Ostling’s production of Blood Wedding at the Lookingglass.. His lighting designs have been seen at regional theatres across the United States, on and off Broadway, and at the Metropolitan Opera. Internationally, he has designed in England, Australia, and at the LaScala Opera House in Milan, Italy. He has received numerous awards for his designs including New York’s Drama Desk Award and Lortel Awards for his lighting of Metamorphoses on and off Broadway, Jefferson Awards for The Odyssey and Metamorphoses in Chicago, and an award for “Exemplifying the Art of Collaboration” given to the Zimmerman design team by Entertainment Design Magazine. You can see his designs for Lucia di Lammermoor and La Sonnambula on DVDs released by the Metropolitan Opera. Upcoming design projects include Dvorak’s Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera and The Odyssey at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. T.J. comes to Otterbein after two years at the University of Toledo, and prior to that he spent 17 years in production and executive management at CATCO. T.J. holds a BFA from Otterbein University and an MFA from Boston University. He is married to set designer, scenic artist, and Otterbein adjunct instructor Stephanie R. Gerckens. They have two children and live in Plain City.
- MFA Theatre Lighting Design, Boston University, 1992
- BFA Theatre Design/Technology, Otterbein University, 1988
Research, Creative, & Professional Work
- Theatrical Lighting Design
- Opera Lighting Design
Affiliations & Awards