Theatre Lecturer T.J. Gerckens received the 2013 Equity Jeff Award for Outstanding Lighting Design — Large Theatre for his work in “Metamorphoses” at the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago last fall.Gerckens is no stranger to the Jeff Award spotlight. He has been nominated for five Jeff Awards and has won two, including one for the original production of “Metamorphoses” in 1999.
“This was a revival production that premiered in Chicago in 1999. I thought we were going to be ignored by the judges, but they really loved the work,” Gerckens said. “It is really nice to be recognized for your work. It’s an honor to have your work singled out, especially in a city like Chicago where theater has a huge presence.”
The Lookingglass production of “Metamorphoses” was directed by its Tony Award-winning playwright Mary Zimmerman, who received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award. It is based on the works of the Roman poet Ovid and retells his ancient stories of love, loss and transformation in the setting of a large pool of water, juxtaposing the ancient and the contemporary. The show has been on and off Broadway and toured internationally in Australia.
Coincidentally, The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film put on a production of “Metamorphoses” last year, but Gerckens was unable to help with the lighting because he was working in San Francisco.
Gerckens, who joined UT in September 2012, will be back in Chicago in May working on the lighting for a production of “The White Snake” at the Goodman Theatre.
The Jeff Awards are committed to celebrating the vitality of Chicago-area theater by recognizing excellence through its recommendations, awards and honors. The Jeff Awards foster the artistic growth of area theaters and artists, and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation and civic pride in the achievements of the theater community.