James F. Franklin
James F. Franklin studied Theatrical Design and received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from BrandeisUniversity in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 1981 he has headed the Design /Technical Theatre Program and served as a Professor of Theatrical Lighting Design at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut . He is also a Professional Lighting Artist and has designed extensively both lighting and scenery for opera, theatre and dance companies throughout the USA. During the Spring 2004 semester Professor Franklin will be teaching courses in Theatrical Lighting Design and working with the Faculty at the St. Petersburg State Academy of Theatre Art to develop a new curriculum and plan of study in the area of Theatrical Lighting Design.
Over the period of his 33 year teaching career, Professor Franklin’s scholarly interests have varied between his professional work in his creative specialty of Lighting Design for Opera to his research interests in the Italian Teatri Stabili, the Italian director/scenographer Luciano Damiani and most recently lighting design for opera and lighting design training in The Russian Federation and many of the other former Soviet Republics. This is Professor Franklin’s second Fulbright Award having worked during the 1980-81 academic year with Italian Opera Designer Luciano Damiani in RomeItaly.
His interest in teaching in St. Petersburg developed as a result of his 2001-2002 sabbatical research project: Lighting Design for Opera and Designer Training in Eastern Europe and the former republics of the Soviet Union. One of his major findings of this research was that Lighting Design, as an academic discipline, had never been strongly developed in the Russian Federation or for that matter in any of the former republics of the Soviet Union. This seemed to be the case despite a very long and rich history of theatrical activity in this part of the world. Professor Franklin hopes that his Fulbright term in St. Petersburg will help to begin to turn around this situation.
When not designing lighting or teaching lighting design, Professor Franklin likes to get away with his adopted son, Tarik, from Bosnia Herzegovina, to their summer home on Cape Cod and chill in their boat on Cape CodBay.