The UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama is pleased to announce the hiring of Neil Mills and Megan Reilly as new assistant professors. Both will start in the fall 2020 semester and will bolster the department’s theatrical design instruction, production, and research work.
Mills, who earned a master of fine arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University is an art director and scenic designer. Mills’ interests as a designer are diverse and include television and film, museum exhibit design, attraction design, theatre, opera, and teaching. They are currently working as an experience designer on a variety of different themed entertainment attractions for Themespace in Pasadena, California. During the 2017-18 academic year, Mills was an adjunct professor at Kean University, teaching Scenic Design 1 and Intro to Performance Design classes. Prior to this academic appointment, Mills spent five years in New York City as a theatrical designer and as an art director for television — including with “The Today Show” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” While theatre is their home discipline, Mills’ breadth of experiences and interests will inform teaching of scenic design courses, provide opportunities for exciting research (both internally and externally), and interdisciplinary classes.
Reilly, who earned a master of fine arts at the University of Texas at Austin, creates original lighting, media, and scenic designs for performance. A scholar-artist who researches through her theatrical design, Reilly also investigates creating entire worlds and realities that call for the active engagement of audience/participants in performances involving mixed reality, immersive theatre, and alternate reality games. Her professional work includes designs in Minneapolis, New England, Arkansas, and Texas. Reilly’s work has also been seen internationally as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and with Collaborative Artists Company in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently serving as the vice commissioner of research for the USITT Digital Media Commission. Reilly will lead the department’s lighting design classes, develop courses in lighting/texture in digital environments/video games, and will collaborate on innovative research projects internally and externally.
Neil Mills’ scenic design for the University of Denver production of Tick… Tick… Boom (photo credit Rachel D. Graham).
Megan Reilly’s lighting design for the TheatreSquared production of A Christmas Carol (scenic design and photo by Martin Andrew).