Faculty Profile for Trad Burns

profile photo for Trad Burns
Trad Burns
Associate Professor of Practice — Department of Theatre & Dance
THEA 101
phone: (512) 245-2147

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Trad A Burns, Lighting Designer

Trad has been designing scenery and lighting professionally since 1989 for theatre, dance, and amusement parks. Recent credits include the world premiere of Carmen, choreographed by Kenneth Tindal; Thrive, Choreographed by Ma Cong; What’s Going On?, choreographed by Val Caniparoli; and Little Shop of Horrors for Great Lake Theatre and Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Upcoming works include world premiers ballets for Penny Saunders, Adam Hougland, Caili Quan, Stephanie Martinez, Ma Cong, and Nicolo Fonte.

Trad has had the privilege of designing world premiere ballets for such notable choreographers as Trey McIntyre, Val Caniparoli, James Kudelka, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez Ocha, Matthew Neenan, Adam Hougland, Garrett Smith, Jessica Lang, Alejandro Cerrudo, Kirk Peterson, Donald Byrd, Jodie Gates, Gina Patterson, Amy Seiwert, Ma Cong, Andrea Schermoly, Jennifer Archibald, Penny Saunders, Stephanie Martinez, Septime Webre, Devon Carney, Victoria Morgan, Robert Curran, and Sarah Slipper. Over the years, his dance lighting has been seen at American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Atlanta Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Ballet X, The Joffrey Ballet, BalletMet, Louisville Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, Grand Rapids Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Hubbard Street, and Cincinnati Ballet.

As as theatre designer, Trad’s designs have been see at New York Theatre Workshop (NYC), The Public Theatre (NYC), La Mama ETC (NYC), HERE (NYC), Classic Stage Company (NYC), North Shore Music Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cain Park, Beck Center for the Arts, Dobama, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Cedar Point, Valleyfair, Knott’s Berry Farm, Kings Island, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Japan, Disney Sea, Disney Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Universal Studios Florida and Japan, Woodstock Ice Productions and The Family of Charles M. Schulz.

Trad is currently a member of the design faculty for Texas State University’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Film.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Lighting Designer, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. 2023 - Present.
    • Idaho Shakespeare Festival. August 2023 - Present Boise, ID.
    • Great Lakes Theatre. September 2023 - Present The Hanna Theatre, Cleveland, OH.
  • Lighting Designer, Lady of the Camellias. May 2023.
    • Colorado Ballet. November 2022 - January 2023 The Denver Center, Denver, CO.
    • Los Angeles Ballet. March 2023 - May 2023 Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA.
    • (Invited) Reviewed by: Joanne DiVito.
  • Lighting Designer, Extremely Close (Company Premier). 2023 - Present.
    • Sacramento Ballet. March 2023 - April 2023 The Sofia, Sacramento, CA.
  • Lighting Designer, inCOPnegro (World Premier). January 2022 - Present.
    • National Tour. June 2023 - Present Various US/International Theatres.
  • Lighting Designer, Jekyll and Hyde (US Premier). 2019 - Present.
    • Kansas City Ballet. October 2023 Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kansas City, MO.
    • Colorado Ballet. February 2024 The Denver Center, Denver, CO.

Selected Service Activities

Faculty of Instruction Policy Committee
December 2023-Present
Search Committee - Dance Professor of Practice
November 2023-Present
Season Selection
September 2023-December 2023
Presidential Upper Level Scholarship
February 2023-April 2023
Search Committee - Co-Head of Musical Theatre
October 2022-April 2023