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Riley Cavanaugh is a lighting designer based in New York City. He attended Pace University in Lower Manhattan for a BFA in lighting design.

His love of lighting began at the age of 7, after attending a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. He then began collecting small lights from novelty gift shops. This grew into buying professional dj lighting and staging light shows for his family, all before he was even a teenager. At the age of 13, he saw the Broadway musical Wicked on tour, his first exposure into theatre. He not only immediately fell in love, but also realized how his love of lighting and theatre could combine to create fantastic worlds on the stage.

Throughout high school he designed for school musicals, and continued to return to his alma mater to design their new musicals after his graduation.


During his time at Pace, he designed for many diverse and experimental plays and musicals, as well as programmed for Pace's large and small productions alike. He has experience working in everything from a conference room or garage being used as a performance space, to union off-broadway theaters, and outdoor venues. 

In addition to designing for theatre, he has designed for and worked in multiple theme parks within the Six Flags and Cedar Fair chains. Through working in these parks, he not only became adept at designing for a wide variety of shows, including musical revues, stunt shows, magic shows and more, but also became familiar with the standard practices working with pyrotechnics, lasers, and operating heavy machinery. 


Riley also has experience designing for events and fashion shows, as well as working in film and in a corporate setting. 

Awards include the Cornerstone Award from King's Island, the Golden Carrot Award from Six Flags New England for excellence in technical theatre, and multiple awards for excellence and passion in technical theatre and lighting from Windsor Locks High School.

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