I really like taking people by the metaphorical hand and saying “Come one, let me show you something wondrous. Everything that you see is real. Sit back, relax, enjoy the show.”

Michael Knight, MFA

  • Alum
  • Faculty

Assistant Professor

Theatre
Contact
Office
Performing Arts Center 101
Related Department
Theatre
College Major
Theatre Design
Year Graduated
2002

Michael Knight has over 35 years of experience in the field of theatre and design. Upon graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts, Knight landed a position as the Technical Director and Lighting Designer at the Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN. He worked in a variety of different theatres, nightclubs and other venues as well, while holding positions as a Production Manager, Stage Manager, Lighting and Scenic Designer, Props Designer and an array of supporting positions. Knight began teaching at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2006, where he has since made his way up and is now the Head of the Department of Theatre. Knight has a ‘can do’ approach to everything he does. If you give enough effort, anything you do will get done. Knight has worked with a variety of different artists, artisans and entrepreneurs, as well as musical artists such as John Kay of Steppenwolf, Eddie Money and Crystal Gale.

A Conversation with Mr. Knight

What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?

“Texas A&M University-Commerce is an educationally rich environment that allows the student to experience their education through hands-on, practical learning techniques, courses and production application.”

What has been your favorite course to teach?

“Stage Properties. Both graduate and undergraduate. When I was a kid I would always take stuff apart to see how it worked. When I would put it back together, sometimes I would alter the look a bit. I like to tinker and manipulate things. So the course allows me to recreate, devise from nothing or adapt any object into any other object. It’s like artistic alchemy.”

What draws you to your discipline?

“I find the people very interesting. They seem to ride on a razor’s edge, balancing between brilliance and insanity. There’s a sense of lawlessness to it. Plus, I really like taking people by the metaphorical hand and saying ‘Come one, let me show you something wondrous. Everything that you see is real. Sit back, relax, enjoy the show.'”

Tell us about a project you are currently working on or recently completed.

“Currently I am writing about the challenges and triumphs of designing lighting for ZOOM-based productions in a COVID-19 world.”

Educational Background

  • MFA, Theatre Design, Lighting/Scenic, The University of Mississippi, 2002
  • BS, Theatre Arts, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 1998

Academic Positions

  • Department Head, Department of Theatre, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2015-Present
  • Interim Department Head, Department of Mass Media, Communication, and Theatre, TAMUC, 2013-2015
  • Director of Theatre Division, Department of Mass Media, Communication, and Theatre, TAMUC, 2010-2013
  • Associate Professor, Theatre Design, TAMUC, 2006-Present
  • Technical Director, The University Playhouse, TAMUC, 2006-2016

Research Interests

  • The Art of Violence: Production Design Techniques for Combat Sports
  • Art and Nature: The Outdoor Theatre and Natural Wonders Relationship
  • Patton’s Ghost Army

Professional Organizations

  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology

Workshops & Conference Presentations

  • CHSSA Professional Development Day: UCD Dallas, TX, Presenter: Creating LED Star Drops from Scratch, 2016
  • Mesquite ISD Professional Development Day, High Schools, Presenter: Lighting Instruments, Console Programming, Q&A, 2016
  • Mesquite ISD Professional Development Day, Middle Schools, Presenter: Lighting Instruments, Design ideas, and Application, 2016
  • CHSSA Professional Development Day: UCD Dallas, TX, Presenter: Stage Properties Tricks and Solutions, 2016
  • Texas Educational Theatre Assoc.: Theatrefest 2015: Houston, TX, Presenter: Spectacle: Artist Manipulations and Their Uses, 2015
  • Texas Educational Theatre Assoc.: Theatrefest 2013: Houston, TX, Presenter: Unconventional Uses for Conventional Instruments, 2013
  • KC/American College Theatre Festival: Amarillo, TX, Panel Member: Theatre Lighting Design, Panelist, 2011
  • American Studies Association of Texas: Commerce, TX, Zombie Theatre: The Modern Day “Grand Guignol”, 2010
  • American Studies Association of Texas: Commerce, TX, Panel Member: “Does your family have a zombie infestation plan?”: Examinations of the Zombie in American Popular Culture, 2010
  • “Special Effects for Theatre: Guts, Organs, Body Parts”, Commerce High School, Theatre Department Commerce, TX, 2009
  • Southwest Theatre & Film Association: “Care and Feeding of the Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight”, 2006
  • Southwest Theatre & Film Association: “Homemade Shop Tools We Know and Love”, 2006

Featured Courses

THE 1310 Global and US Introduction to Theatre
THE 319 Stage Properties
THE 589 Playwriting
THE 308 Introduction to Playwriting
THE 316 Light I
THE 366 Scene Design I
THE 489 Hand Drafting
THE 495 Senior Theatre Project


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