Heather Gilbert - Columbia College Chicago

Heather Gilbert




Heather Gilbert is a professor in the Theatre Department, teaching Lighting Design for Live Performance. She is an award-winning lighting designer, whose recent work includes the Tony winning Broadway production of PARADE, for which she was nominated for the Tony for Best Lighting Design of a Musical, as well as a Drama Desk, and THE SOUND INSIDE at Studio 54, with director and Columbia alum David Cromer, for which she won a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award, and for which she was been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Play.

Heather's designs have been seen onstage at almost every theatre in Chicago from the Goodman to storefronts everywhere as well as the London production of OUR TOWN at the Almeida Theatre, following runs in Chicago, New York, LA, Boston, and Kansas City. 

Regionally, Heather’s designs have been seen at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, American Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Huntington Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Kansas City Rep, Alley Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Lookinglass Theatre, Writers Theatre, Chicago Children's Theatre, and many more. Other international credits include PEDRO PARAMO with Teatro Buendia in Montreal and A PERFECT GANESH at Singapore Repertory Theatre.Heather works frequently with acclaimed directors such as David Cromer, Devon DeMayo, Jonathan Berry, Sean Graney, Kimberly Senior, and many others.

In 2012, Heather received the 3Arts Award in Chicago. She was a recipient of the prestigious NEA/TCG Career Development Grant for Designers from TCG. She received the 2020 Jeff Award for Best Lighting Design of a play for BUG at Steppenwolf, also with David Cromer.

Heather received her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio and her MFA in Lighting Design from The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Instructional Areas

Live Entertainment Lighting, focused in theatre and dance, additional interest in Concert. Collaboration for Theatre Designers and Directors, Period Styles, Intro to Design.

Creative Practice and Research Interests

Concert lighting and technology. Installation art. Light art.


B.A., Drama Trinity University 1992
M.F.A., Lighting Design DePaul University 1997