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Alumni Spotlight: Morgan Dawn Golightly


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"Show yourself and everyone that you are more than capable. Because you are."    -Morgan Dawn Golightly 


When did you graduate? What is your nickname? What is something that you’ve accomplished since you’ve graduated that you’re proud of?

I graduated USU in 2014 with my BFA in Technical Theatre and Design. 


Could tell us a little about your journey after you left USU Theatre and how you ended up where you are now?

Shortly after graduating, I worked as an Intern and Assistant Paint Charge for Utah Festival Opera and Musical from 2014-2015. It was then I went to obtain my MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Connecticut. While there, I designed two main stage shows for Connecticut Repertory Theatre including Shrek the Musical, and Our Country's Good. My set design for Our Country's Good went on to win the Barbizon award for Region 1 of KCACTF, and went on to compete in the KCACTF nations in Washington D.C. While in graduate school, I also designed sets for UCONN Opera including H.M.S Pinafore, Cendrillon, Suor Angelica, and Le Mariage Aux Lanternes. I graduated from UCONN with my MFA in Set Design in May of 2018. I have since worked as the Assistant Set Designer for Lyric Repertory Theatre's 2018 season and now work as a scenic painter for The Hale Centre Theatre while doing free lance design work. 





Could tell us a little about your journey after you left USU Theatre and how you ended up where you are now?

Painting sets at Hale Centre Theatre has been an amazing opportunity. My typical day includes dividing crew to cover various projects, and working with the designers and shop staff to make sure we meet our deadlines. We do back to back shows at the Hale, so we are often painting 2-3 shows at a time.  


Tell us more about the work that you’re doing now? What is a typical day like for you these days? 

While working on my set designs, my typical work days for those continue after I get home from working at the Hale and get my kids fed and ready for bed. It is then that I will do script work, research, work on renderings, models, drafting, and prepare for the next design meeting. 


How did your time in USU Theatre Arts help prepare you for the world? What skill or attribute would you say that without USU Theatre Arts you may not have obtained?


My time at USU definitely helped me get to where I am today and I believe will continue to help me further my career. USU is where I learned a lot of my basics and building blocks as far as becoming a designer and painter. The various design classes that were offered to me, as well as the exposure I received to different kinds of theatre helped me grasp what my passions in this field would become. I can say that both USU and UCONN pushed and challenged my talents to new levels and never let me settle for "good enough." I continue to use what I have learned to build on my skills. I am never done learning and pushing myself. I am constantly inspired by those who have graced me with their talents and knowledge and taken the time to share them and help strengthen me. 


What are some of your favorite memories during your time in the USU Theatre Arts program?

Some of my favorite memories from my time at USU include my first summer with Lyric as an Apprentice, LuAnn always having a Dr. Pepper ready for me in her fridge, the trip I took with many of my colleagues to KCACTF of 2014, and our end of the year banquets where we could all come together and celebrate our accomplishments. Within all of those, were memories made that will last and influence me forever. 


What advice would you give to a potential USU Theatre Arts student?


To future students looking to join USU Theatre's department, my advice would be to always push yourself further. There will be times where you wonder if you're doing the right thing, or good enough to have what it takes. It is in these times where you are going to make leaps and bounds. Embrace it and push forward. Show yourself and everyone that you are more than capable. Because you are. The amazing professionals in this department see it, and will become your friends, mentors, and colleagues for life. They will always be there to push you and to help you. The amount of opportunities that this program will and can offer you are amazing. Take hold of every single one you possibly can.