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Alumni Spotlight: Dooley’s Path Illuminated by UW Education

April 19, 2018
silhouette of person against strips of lights
Andrew Dooley

When Andrew Dooley came to UW from Sioux City, Iowa, he had planned to become a forest ranger upon graduation. That was until he saw a beautifully staged concert on campus. “I realized I wanted to be in something more freeing and artistic,” Dooley says. He changed his major to theater, focused on technical aspects such as stage lighting, and has now made a career of it.

At first, Dooley was told he would never make it in New York. But he had a few contacts who helped him gain a footing when he went there upon graduation in 2001. He found jobs working in off-off-Broadway theater and freelanced as a stage hand. With time, in the city he found Frost Productions, a company specializing in throwing large special events, such as corporate functions, weddings, bar mitzvahs and holiday events.

“That piqued my interest, because it allowed me to work with people, be creative and come up with crazy and elaborate designs. Jobs got bigger and bigger and became a fun and interesting way to express myself,” Dooley says. He worked for Frost in New York City for 10 years, and then in 2011 opened a new office of the company in Boston, where he is a lighting designer and partner.

Dooley says UW helped him figure out what he wanted to be: “I found my way in Laramie. When I got there, I had no idea where I was going. Five years of education and life lessons in that beautiful part of the country helped me figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. UW provided the education that drove me to go there.”

As can be seen from this photograph Dooley provided, he considers himself a true “behind-the-scenes guy.” Here, the color gradient occurred as a result of lighting on a drape.

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