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Gary Olsen


Gary Olsen served the department as Director of Theatre Technology for over 20 years and was department chair from 2006-2016. Gary’s production focus is on Lighting and Sound Design as well as Stage Management. He earned his MFA from Illinois State University in 1985 and BS from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1981. Gary has served as a board member of United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Midwest Section and as an adjudicator for the American College Theatre Festival, Region III.

Gary brings additional training experience to his students through his continued participation in seminars that include: Sound Reinforcement and System Design through Synergetic Audio Concepts, Stage Rigging through Rigging Seminars (Donovan & Glerum), Technical Director Safety in Arms, Weapons and Flying through University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Gary teaches Lighting Design I and II, Sound Design and Production, Stage Management and Technical Production.

Lighting Portfolio

Professional Experience

  • Wisconsin Touring Theatre Company
  • Illinois Shakespeare Festival
  • Northern Lights Summer Playhouse
  • Mentoring multiple student designers and stage managers in touring to numerous American College Theatre Festivals
  • FAA Certified Flight Instructor

Community Involvement

Boy Scout Merit Badge advisor for Theatre, Aviation, and Weather

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.

Gary Olsen
Gary Olsen
Professor - Theatre
Theatre Unit Coordinator

124 Noel Fine Arts Center


MFA - Scenic Design
Illinois State University

BS - Speech/Theatre
UW - La Crosse