Lighting the Way: Assistant Professor of Theatre James Horban on His New Position at URI

Name: James Horban
URI Title: Assistant Professor of Theatre Technology and Design
Pronouns: he/him/his
Three adjectives he’d use to describe himself: inquisitive, innovative, collaborative

One of the newest members of the URI community, Assistant Professor of Theatre Technology and Design James Horban, is a true jack of all trades. Horban joins us from his previous position as the Lighting Supervisor at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, where he was able to collaborate with lighting designers from all over the world to make their productions happen. With an extensive resumé of lighting and scenic design credits that includes serving as Associate Professor for the Live Entertainment Technology program, as well as Resident Lighting and Scenic Designer, Master Electrician, and Scenic Artist for Drama Department productions at Lone Star College-Montgomery in Conroe, TX, Horban was also a three-time recipient of the Kennedy Center Award for meritorious achievement in design.

As for his decision to work at URI, Horban found himself drawn to Little Rhody’s dynamic Theatre department. “The Theatre Department at URI is in an amazing stage of development and rebirth, both in terms of program growth, facility upgrades, and curricular changes,” he says. “I’m very excited to evaluate the program and engage students and audiences with current forms of theatre design and technology. My hope, in turn, is to expose students to the ever-changing technology and producing methods of modern-day Theatre.” Although his time at URI has just begun, Horban looks forward to continuing to pursue his research interests, as well. “I enjoy exploring the ever-developing technologies in the world of live entertainment and bridging them into theatrical design,” he says. “Investigating production technologies to discover the most cost-effective, feature-rich, and accessible equipment is a constant endeavor, especially in an industry that has seen an exponential growth in new tech with the advent of LED efficiency. My main ‘zones’ of research at the moment include: LEDs and Pixeltape, Previsualization within Lighting Design, Production Design Around the World, and developing online learning methods for my very hands-on trade. I am always searching for ways to integrate interactive technologies into my learning environments so that students are exposed to the most current production methods.”

With the fall semester already underway, Horban is currently teaching Introduction to Theatre Design (THE 261), Scenic Painting (THE 362), and Stage Lighting (THE 371), while next semester he looks forward to teaching Special Workshop in Design and Technical Theatre (THE 463), Advanced Scene Design (THE 465), and Advanced Stage Lighting (THE 475). For current Arts and Sciences students, Horban has this advice: “Keep trying new things that are outside of your comfort zone, as this is the best method to foster the mentality of life-long learning and discovery required to stay abreast in your respective field. Learning never stops!”

Lighting the Way: Assistant Professor of Theatre Technology & Design James Horban on His New Position at URI