J.D. Hopper (he/him) is a Mexican-American lighting designer, sound designer, photographer, filmmaker, and list enthusiast from San Diego, CA. He has enjoyed working as a freelance lighting designer across the country and in various positions at theaters such as The Old Globe in San Diego and Williamstown Theater Festival. He is looking forward to being based in NYC after graduating in May 2023.
J.D.’s design goals are centered around the creative application of design technology to enhance the collaborative process. He frequently utilizes 3D modeling and rendering as a means to conceptualize and communicate his ideas to collaborators, and has developed workflows to integrate these tools as part of his overall design process. His design work at CMU has demonstrated sophisticated interdisciplinary cohesion, which is motivated by the desire to not know where one design discipline begins or ends in a production.
His primary area of interest lies in lighting for music-based performances. J.D. has had the opportunity to hone this interest having worked on Giulio Cesare for the School of Music, as well as Hair, Natasha Pierre…Great Comet of 1812, and Godspell for the School of Drama. He has also lit a variety of dance styles as part of the School of Drama’s Dance/Light productions.
J.D. is an avid admirer of storytelling in all forms and loves to consume and discuss film, television, and theatre in his free time, in addition to taking photos of his dog, Coco.
He also co-hosts and produces "What's That Film?," a film discussion podcast with Elinore Tolman.
Upcoming Projects:
Lighting Designer: Godspell | Carnegie Mellon University
Lighting Designer: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 | Playhouse on the Square
Lighting Designer: Double Trouble | Bristol Valley Theater
Lighting Designer: Matilda | Forestburgh Playhouse
ETC Fred Foster Mentorship Program Mentee 2022-23
Cody Renard Richard Scholarship 2023 Recipient
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