Chris Henrriquez

Lighting Designer

Time in Greater OC: 28 Years

Neighborhood: Costa Mesa

Hometown: Costa Mesa

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am the production manager for the inaugural season of Wayward Voices! Wayward Voices is an initiative of The Wayward Artist to empower, amplify, and uplift artists who identify as black, indigenous, and people of color. I am also working in the Irvine Unified School District as a lighting design and stage management mentor for various high schools. In the fall, I will be starting my MFA in Lighting Design at the University of Maryland!

What's been inspiring you recently?

Recently, my high students have been inspiring me. I'm lucky to be working with a group of students who are tremendously inquisitive and passionate about theatre and storytelling. Their creativity and drive reminds me every day why I choose to teach and do theatre.

Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

Kathy Paladino is my theatrical hero and the reason I love this industry. As my high school theatre teacher, Kathy welcomed me into her program, treated me like her son, and helped nurture my love for theatre. She always allowed me to explore all parts of our productions– from performing to being a part of the tech crew. Kathy gave me my first gig as a tech outside of high school, and I have not stopped working since. Kathy will always be my hero.

What kind of theatre excites you?

I find that dance and new works are what excite me the most in theatre. As a lighting designer, I find lighting for dances to be the most expressive and artistic performance to design. As an artist in general, new works are what fuel my soul. I love seeing and creating something that has never been done before.

Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?

I love coffee and food. When I'm not in theatre mode, I generally like to explore the coffee scene and try new food. Right now, my favorite coffee spots are Brot Coffee in Orange, Golden State Coffee Roasters in Placentia, and MoonGoat Coffee in Costa Mesa.

What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?

Not necessarily directly related to theatre, but still entertainment. As a technician at the Disneyland Resort, I was part of a crew who installed over four hundred lighting fixtures in bushes, plants, trees, and a kids play structure for a Halloween install. Every part of the install was created new. Over six months of planning and install went into the project, but it was the most rewarding project I've ever worked on.

What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?

My advice for a new artist in Orange County would be never to dismiss an opportunity just because it's not directly what you want to or hope to do. As a lighting designer and stage manager, I've taken lots of work as an audio tech or carpenter. The skills I learned from those gigs have helped me in different parts of my career.

Go ahead, promote your things...

A workshop presentation of "Black Mexican" by Rachel Lynett is coming to Wayward Voices on May 14th!

Info on

Chris Henrriquez