Our inaugural podcast focuses on Lighting Design and its processes featuring Sarah Jane Shiels, Bill Woodland and John Gunning.

Each episode covers different aspects of scenography and its processes with designers from all disciplines at a variety of stages in their careers.

This podcast was recorded on 9 September 2020 on Zoom, which at times affects the sound quality.

Click on the image below to listen to the podcast. Enjoy!


Sarah Jane Shiels (SJ) is a freelance lighting and set designer. She began designing as a member of Dublin Youth Theatre at the age of 14, completing a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies 2006 (Trinity), and the Rough Magic Seeds3 programme 2006 – 2008.  From 2010 – 2017, she was co-artistic director of WillFredd Theatre.


2015 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Lighting Design, It Folds (Junk Ensemble and Brokentalkers) and PALS (ANU Productions)

2012 Dublin Fringe Festival, Best Offsite Production, FARM (WillFredd Theatre)

2011 Dublin Fringe Festival, Spirit of the Fringe, FOLLOW (WillFredd Theatre)

2009 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Production, Phaedra’s Love (Loose Canon)


2019 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Lighting Design, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings (Collapsing Horse); Redemption Falls (Moonfish Theatre); Selvage (Brú Theatre)

2016 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Lighting Design, Town is Dead, (Abbey Theatre)

2013 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Production, FARM (WillFredd Theatre)

2010 Dublin Fringe Festival, Best Design, FOLLOW (WillFredd Theatre)

2006 Irish Times Theatre Award, Best Lighting Design, The Duchess of Malfi (Loose Canon)

Sarah Jane Shiels Website


John Gunning is an alumnus of Dublin Youth Theatre and The Lir Academy.
He is also a founding member of MALAPROP Theatre (Spirit of Dublin Fringe Festival 2015, The Georganne Aldrich Heller Award 2017, Romily Walton-Masters Award 2018, Best Production & Best Design Ensemble with HOTHOUSE Dublin Fringe Festival 2023).

Lighting credits include Everything Not Saved (Project Arts Centre), Jericho (Bewley’s Café Theatre – Lunchtime Theatre), BlackCatfishMusketeer and Love+ (Summerhall Festival), Demons (The Lir Academy), The Egg Is A Lonely Hunter (Project Arts Centre), Flynn (Abbey Theatre, Peacock Stage), Eamonn (From Menswear) (The Mick Lally Theatre).
Sound design includes Yen and Grimly Handsome (The Lir Academy), McKenna’s Fort (The New Theatre), The Bells Of (Theatre Upstairs).

Malaprop Theatre Website


Bill Woodland is an award winning lighting designer currently based in Dublin, Ireland. He graduated from The Lir Academy (Trinity College Dublin/RADA) with an MFA with distinction in Lighting Design and a minor in Dramaturgy. He previously earned his BA in Theatre Arts from Western Washington University. In addition to his theatre work, he is also a photographer, specializing in shooting low light environments.

Bill currently works as a freelance designer, house Lighting and Sound Technician for The Lir Academy (which includes hands on training and classes for BA and MFA students), and a Lighting Technician for The Abbey Theatre.

Recent Lighting Designs include:
“These Stupid Things” (dir Sarah Baxter, White Label), “Infinity” (dir Eoghan Carrick, Dublin Fringe), “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” (dir Tom Creed, The Lir), “Postscript” (dir Conor Hanratty, Abbey Theatre), “How To Square a Circle” (created by Aisling ni Cheallaigh & Ronan Brady, Draiocht), “The Half of It” (dir Cathal Cleary, Dublin Fringe ’17), “Happy Birthday Jacob” (dir Laura Bowler, Bakru), “Quicksand” (dir Emily Foran, Idir Mná), “Running With Dinosaurs” (dir Lee Wilson, The New Theatre), “Yen” (dir Jack Reardon, The Lir), “Hostel 16” (dir Raymond Keane, Dublin Fringe), “The Coming World” (dir Anderson Carr, The Lir), “Grimly Handsome” (dir Keelie Sheridan, The Lir)

In addition to work in lighting, Bill is also a sound designer and stage electrician, and has previously worked as a set designer, carpenter, production manager, and repair technician. He was a co-founder and collaborator of Seattle based devising company Mirum Mirum Productions from 2012 until 2015. He also spent two years as a lighting system designer and project manager for new theaters, performing arts centers, and retrofits.

Bill Woodland Website

Stage Left Podcast

Stage Left Podcast is funded by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland

Featured Music Venn Diagrams from How To Square A Circle by Lux Alma

Produced by Noelia Ruiz