Ian Garrett is designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. Ian is the co-founder and director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA), a leader in the conversation on sustainability and the arts, and is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University in Toronto. He is a trustee and Vice Chair of the Board for DanceUSA, the national service organization for dance, where he serves on the Executive, Technology, and chairs the Programming committees.
As a producer, Ian worked on the premier of Richard Foreman and Michael Gordon’s What to Wear at REDCAT and produced the Prague tour for Torry Bend’s puppet adaptation of Aimee Bender’s Loser. He has produced over a dozen shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe including Marsian De Lellis’ Growing Up Linda, Katie Shook and Erik Ehn’s One Eye Gone, and At Sundown—a physical theater piece on aging and memory that he initiated. In Los Angeles, he produced the hit Gogol Project with the Rogue Artists Ensemble and Leiris/Picasso with Brimmer Street Theatre Company, both at the Bootleg Theater. In Houston, he produced Week 42 of Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 Days / 365 Plays. He was an associate producer on The Medea Project, a cross-cultural production of Medea in Athens and Los Angeles.
Ian maintains a design practice focused on lighting, with work in scenic and video design. He served as the lighting curator for Scenofest at the Prague Quadrennial, and is the resident designer for the Indy Convergence, an annual artistic open-space in Indianapolis. He received the 2006 LA Weekly Theater Award for best lighting for Permanent Collection at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and he was the lighting designer for Song of Extinction with Moving Arts, which won the 2008 LA Weekly Theater Award for Production of the Year. Recent work includes designs for Kristina Wong‘s tour of Cat Lady (DiverseWorks, ODC, NPN Annual Meeting: Tampa) and The 2011 and 2012 Company Creation Festivals (Son of Semele Ensemble). Previous credits include: Hyperbole: Origins (Rogue Artists Ensemble at [Inside] the Ford), On Emotion (Son of Semele Ensemble), Summer in Hell (Brimmer Street Theatre Company at Studio/Stage), Leiris/Picasso (Brimmer Street Theatre Company/Bootleg Theater), <3 (Brimmer Street Theatre Company at Studio/Stage), Speech and Debate (Blank Theatre Company), Body Politic (Echo Theatre Company), and dozens of others. He was part of the lighting team for the Crimson Collective’s Ascension, a 150’ wide, origami-style crane sculpture at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival. In Houston, he designed on the veranda at the Alden Hotel for a Houston Grand Opera O.N. event and in the DiverseWorks Gallery for Claude Wampler’s
PERFORMANCE (career ender) installation.
As a leader in the conversation on sustainability in the arts, Ian has spoken on arts and the environment, arts infrastructure, and new models of training at conferences hosted by St. Louis University, Live Design International, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), DanceUSA, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Americans for the Arts, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In 2007, he received the Richard E. Sherwood Award for emerging theater artists from the Center Theater Group (CTG) for the integration of ecologically sustainable practice into theater production. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, Ian traveled to COP15 in Copenhagen and COP16 in Cancun to document the artistic responses to these global climate talks. With the CSPA, he has been featured in American Theatre, DramaBiz, and on Inhabitat.com.
Ian has previously served as the Executive Director of the Fresh Arts Coalition, an arts service organization focused on awareness and marketing in Houston, TX, and as consultant and interim staff for the LA Stage Alliance, a regional arts service organization serving more than 350 non-profit performing arts companies in Southern California. He has also served as group sales associate for Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, spent the 2007 Fall/Winter season with DiverseWorks, and was patron services manager for the Will Geer Theatricum Botancium in Topanga, CA.
For four years, Ian taught in the School of Theater at CalArts, including courses on production and management technology and sustainable practice. He has also lead communications for the School of Theater, developing its web identity and digital infrastructure. He continues to produce their annual Edinburgh Program, bringing student and alumni work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.