Freeport local Ostrowski’s electric career has brightened many stages – Tribune

July 26, 2015 - Finding Carter

You competence be in a dim about who Andrew Ostrowski is.

But if we visit Pittsburgh’s behaving humanities scene, his work has roughly positively cordial your experience.

During his 30-year career as a lighting engineer and master electrician, Ostrowski has designed a lighting for some 200 productions for area companies that embody City Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Barebones Productions, Pict Classic Theatre, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, The REP and Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts.

Since June, his lighting designs have bright 3 Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera musicals — “Mary Poppins,� “Man of La Mancha� and “Gypsy� — and a Gene Kelly Awards; performances of Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; and a National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City

Ostrowski’s inhabitant pattern credits embody Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.; North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Mass.; and Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C.

From 1998 to 2003, Ostrowski was a lighting executive for an general debate of a Gershwin show “Porgy and Bess.� His designs have seemed in France, Sweden, Scotland and Ireland.

“Andy truly is a internal artist with inhabitant and general reach,� says Ronald Alan Lindblom, artistic executive of a Pittsburgh Playhouse and a Conservatory of Performing Arts. “He unequivocally has a ability to tell stories with lights.�

Ostrowski, a local of Freeport, was innate into a family that was abounding in culture.

“My mom and father were large fans of song of all genres. My sister played a piano during age 4. My father was a fan of movies. My mom review voraciously,� Ostrowski says. “I always desired theater.�

His opening to museum was operative on sets and lights as a member of a Freeport Area High School Crew Club. While in high propagandize and college, he had roles in several shows.

But it was a technical area that drew his interest.

After graduating from high propagandize in 1981, Ostrowski went to Slippery Rock University with a goal of majoring in mechanism science.

Then he detected a university had a museum department, and he began volunteering for technical assignments.

Halfway by his sophomore year, he had a realization: “I didn’t wish to spend 8 hours a day during a computer,â€� he says.

When he called home to tell his father that he dictated to switch his vital to communications and enroll in museum classes, a proclamation did not go well.

“It was a Sunday during a Steelers heyday,� he says. His father was in privacy upstairs, examination a diversion when Ostrowski called.

After conference this confession, his father said: “Son, we have no talent. This is a biggest mistake of your life.�

At that point, Ostrowski wasn’t totally assured that his father was wrong.

“I knew we desired theater. But we didn’t know what we would do,â€� he says.

But he also knew how most fun he got from his classes in technical theater.

“As a child, we found condolence in sketch and painting. In category as a theatre and lighting designer, that came back. It was like anticipating an aged friend,� he says.

Ostrowski‘s breakthrough came during a summers before his youth and comparison years when he became an novice during Civic Light Opera. In further to divulgence a career possibilities for technical artists, his internships led to a event to go on a highway as an partner theatre manager for a train and lorry debate of “George M.�

When he told his father a weekly salary, Dad had to concur that maybe his son competence have a destiny in theater. It was positively some-more than Ostrowski was creation as “a college connoisseur operative in a stockroom during an Altmeyers.�

Ostrowski honed his technical and pattern skills operative during area theaters such as Sherwood Forest and New Kensington Civic Theater, as good as Busch Gardens, Virginia, and Club Med in a Dominican Republic.

In 1989, he returned to Pittsburgh and was hired for a pursuit during Pittsburgh Public Theater that led to apropos a partner master electrician. By a time he left in 1994, he had changed adult to a master electrician mark and combined lighting designs for “Speed a Plow� in 1991 and “The Cocktail Hour� in 1992.

For a past 18 years, Ostrowski has worked as a freelance lighting designer.

“I like creating. we like a collaborative suggestion of museum and a collaborative routine of museum and we like being partial of a group that brings that routine to completion,� he says.

“He’s like partial of a family and a fun guy. … He does extraordinary workâ€� says Lori Berger, associate producing executive during Civic Light Opera. “He has got a clear thought of what he envisions and puts that out on stage. … He can take (a square of scenery) … that is not a best, put tone on it and it looks brand-new.â€�

Ostrowski is an active, mostly invaluable, member in early formulation sessions, says Kim Martin, Pittsburgh Playhouse’s executive of production.

“He will offer ideas about how light can change a set,� Martin says. “When we need a approach around something, Andy will yield it,�

She points to Ostrowski’s resolution for entertainment a showering theatre in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choirboy,â€� that Tome Cousin will approach for The Rep during a Playhouse this fall.

Cousin had seen a prolongation that used a operative shower, though Ostrowski explained how to get a outcome of using H2O with lights rather than elaborate plumbing.

Ostrowski teaches lighting pattern as an accessory instructor during Point Park.

“I adore imparting my expertise and skills onto a younger generation,� he says.

“He is always a teacher. He wants to assistance a kids and share a craft,â€� says Jeffrey Small, who was Ostrowski’s tyro during Point Park and is now a New York City-based lighting designer. “Andy thinks so conceptually. It’s all about a art, that is formidable to teach. He talks about a approach we see light in your life and creates we consider about it.

“He can go from show to a deeply romantic play to a low-pitched in a same week. His farrago in pattern is amazing,â€� says Small, who earnings any summer to Civic Light Opera as associate lighting engineer and Ostrowski’s co-worker. “When he is designing, he is an artist.â€�

Alice T. Carter is a museum censor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached during 412-320-7808, or around Twitter @ATCarter_Trib.

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