After nearly three years working at The Merc on all things related to Technical Production, Mike Doran recently passed the TD baton on to Stephen Kish. First of all, we would like to thank Mike for countless hours working in rehearsals, in productions, and with our rental folks. His dedication to the theater helped increase the quality of our lighting capabilities. Since the start of 2014, he has done an excellent job transitioning us to the technology we now use. We are sad to see him go, but we are also very excited to introduce his replacement, Stephen Kish.
Kish joined us in August and he’s been hard at work learning the ropes. The TD is not only responsible for lighting – he is in charge of every aspect of the technical side of live theater and all of our technical equipment. It’s a big job, and we are very excited to have Kish join our team!
Before moving to The Methow Valley, Kish was at The McMurdo Station in Antarctica working in the Recreation department. As a stage manager for the three local venues, he was in charge of live music production and running sound and lights. Some of the biggest challenges of his job were the off-site mobile productions, including the annual ‘Icestock’ outdoor music festival.
Kish has composed music and played guitar in several touring bands. He’s performed in a myriad of venues and on many different stages: dive bars, theaters, symphony halls, coffee shops & mountaintops, festivals, research bases and amphitheaters. He’s even played in a helicopter hanger, he’s been a busker on street corners, and he’s played on a flat-bed trailer in Antarctica at Icestock six different times! His music has brought him to Jamaica, New Zealand, Tanzania, Tasmania, New Orleans, Hollywood, and across the US. He’s is always searching for more ears to tickle, and more stages with which to become acquainted, so The Merc is a natural next step!
Kish’s journey to the Methow began in Spring 2013 at the Southern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail in Campo, CA on the border with Mexico. He and his wife Deneen walked to Winthrop via the PCT, covering 2600 miles! After one last deployment to McMurdo Station, supporting scientific research for the United States Antarctic Program, they found themselves at North Cascades Mountain Hostel – Deneen was the manager and he helped out around the hostel. During this time, he took a musical sabbatical to focus on classical guitar which culminated in founding the Winthrop Guitar Studios, where he now teaches guitar lessons.
Over the years Stephen Kish has played many parts - musician, guitar teacher, mountaineer, Antarctican – now we are thrilled to welcome him in his new role as Technical Director at The Merc. He’s excited about joining our team too, “I love the space, the crew, and our mission. I look forward to bringing creative zest and positive energy, and to engage those curious seekers, and delight them with our magical part of the Globe.”