Robert Aguilar HeadshotIf you’ve seen a show recently at Seattle Repertory Theatre, 5th Avenue Theatre, or Village Theatre, chances are good you’ve seen the inventive and impressive lighting design of Robert J. Aguilar, our Lighting Designer for Angels in America Parts 1&2. Of his new role, Robert says, “This show at this place at this time; perfect.”

Robert’s recent designs include Little Shop of Horrors (5th Ave), Next to Normal (Contemporary Classics/Balagan Theatre), and A Crack in Everything (zoe|juniper). Other notable designs include: Bo-Nita, I Am My Own Wife, Of Mice and Men, The K of D an urban legend (Seattle Rep); Hairspray in Concert, Titanic: The Concert (5th Ave); Trails (Village Theatre); The Yellow Wood, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Zanna Don’t! (Contemporary Classics); The Lady with All the Answers (ACT); and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Seattle Children’s Theatre). Robert is the managing director and resident lighting designer of Contemporary Classics, and the lighting associate for Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Erik Andor for Intiman by LaRae Lobdell | PhotoSister.comFun Fact: This will be the third season at Intiman for Robert’s dog, Ole (a Shiba Inu/Shitzu mix). Robert’s boyfriend, Erik, worked on both our past festivals, so the pup’s always been around – and we’re excited to have him back.

How did you first encounter Angels in America?

Angels is a show that has been important to me since the very first time I read it as an undergrad at the UW. I’m pretty sure it was an assigned reading but from the first sentence “Hello and good morning” to the last “The Great Work Begins” [how fitting is that!] I couldn’t put the script down.

I remember finishing it sometime around 2am and just sitting there in stunned silence digesting all if it, then I read it again. Initially I connected to the play as a young gay man — a Gay Fantasia on National Themes? I have no idea what that means but I know I’m going to love it!

Nowadays I find myself deeply fascinated by the humanity of the plays; these characters live and breathe, laugh and cry, fight and fuck on the page. It’s brave storytelling and beautiful poetry.

What’s the most challenging production you’ve tackled?

In 2011 I designed the Seattle Repertory Theatre’s production of Of Mice and Men. It’s an incredibly well-known story and the pressure to do it right was huge. Happily I can say that we more than succeeded. It was a coordinated effort with an excellent director (Jerry Manning), fantastic design team (including Intiman’s own Jennifer Zeyl and Deborah Trout), and superb cast. Having the right people in the room is everything.

What do you love about Seattle?

Dark coffee, cold beer, handsome men. What’s not to love about Seattle?