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David Grill ’86

David Grill ’86 is co-director of the Theatre Design/Technology Program (BFA and MFA) at Purchase. Outside of Purchase, Grill runs his own lighting design firm, and his talent and expertise are sought after worldwide. His credits include four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special for various Super Bowl Halftime Shows, including the 2017 show, starring Lady Gaga in 2017. He earned Emmy nominations for four additional Super Bowl Halftime events, including the 2018 show featuring Justin Timberlake.

Grill’s extensive career includes international events, such as the 2007 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony and the XIX Winter Olympics Opening ceremony in 2002. Grill has also served as lighting director for Radio City Music Hall “Christmas Spectaculars,” the musical The Who’s Tommy, Larry King Live, CNN/Democratic Presidential Debate, and the Grammy and Tony Awards shows.

In 2013, Grill directed lighting for Michelle Obama’s “Best Picture Award” sequence during the Academy Awards. The presentation was the climatic moment of the Oscars—and represented an apex of achievement in the field of lighting design.

Grill earned his BFA in Theatre Design at Purchase College in 1986. He has taught at the college since 1998.