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Andrea Bilkey is a designer, Associate Professor, and the Head of Design at Texas Tech University's School of Theatre and Dance. She received her undergraduate degree from Mankato State University, completed an internship at The Juilliard School, and earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Andrea Bilkey has spent over 35 years in the performing arts exploring almost every aspect including: backstage work, acting, singing, dancing, and as a violinist for several years with the greater twin cities youth symphonies in Minneapolis, before focusing primarily in the areas of stage design in the early 1990's. Between her undergraduate and graduate work she completed an internship at The Juilliard School and worked for a few years in a different part of the industry, first at Secoa and then at John S. Hyatt and Associates.
She has worked in various capacities at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Madison Rep, Opera Grand Rapids, Madcap Children's Theatre, Northstar Opera Company, the Canadian Arts Alliance, and for a variety of community theatre companies as well as charitable fundraising events.
Early in her appointment at Texas Tech University, Andrea met the multi-faceted artist-in-residence Andy Wilkinson, and has since then had the good fortune to collaborate on numerous productions of his work, both established and new. These works have given her the opportunity to work alongside many talented artists including: Barry Corbin, Michael Horse, Red Steagall, Alex Cord, Buck Taylor, Junior Vasquez, Trudy Fair, Lesley Sawyer, Donnie Allison, and Kenny Maines.
Her teaching focus and creative endeavors include: lighting design, sound design, computer drafting and design, technology in the classroom, and technology in the design communication process. Research interests also include the history of theatre lighting, where she has been an active participant in the Stage Lighting Archives Working Group at the Pennsylvania State University and participating in two grant supported research trips to their archives.
Recognitions her work has garnered include USITT's Young Designer's Forum; ETC's LDI student sponsorship program; Southwest Theatre Association First Place in the field of Lighting Design; and a KCACTF Region III Meritorious achievement award for Lighting Design. She has contributed to iSquint.net, has had her design work published in World Stage Design and TD&T, and most recently published an article titled “Illuminating the Past - and the Future” in the Spring 2017 edition of TD&T.
Andrea is an active member with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's Lighting Commission, serving previously as Vice-Commissioner for Communications, Vice-Commissioner for Programming, and currently as Vice-Commissioner for Lighting History as well as serving USITT as Vice-Chair of the History & Heritage committee.
MFA University of Wisconsin, Madison
BS Mankato State University