College of Arts and Communication
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Eric Appleton
Associate Professor, Associate Professor (Sv)

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Eric Appleton is the associate professor of scenic and lighting design in the Theatre/Dance Department and currently serves as department chair. Courses taught include Introduction to Theatre, Introduction to Theatrical Design, Period Decor and Styles, Advanced Design Seminar, Design II for Scenery and Lighting, and independent studies in Scenic Painting when there is student demand. He mentors student lighting and scenic designers on departmental productions, and oversees student props managers (as well as acting as prop manager on occasion). Recent freelance work includes lighting designs for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (Sherlock Holmes and the Jersey Lily, A Thousand Clowns, Boeing Boeing) and Milwaukee's Theatre Gigante (Midsummer in Midwinter, Tarzan, The Beggar's Opera). In 2019 he traveled with Theatre Gigante to Slovenia as lighting designer and stage manager to remount their production of Tarzan in the cities of Kranj and Ptuj. Three of his plays have been published by Heuer ( (Fish, Furious, Three Excellent Cows), and he has had three monologues produced as part of Madison's Forward Theatre's recent monologue festivals (Spotless, Wisconsin Blue Book, Ringstrasse); his full length play Hamm in Love and War was selected as a participant in Forward Theatre's 2018 Wisconsin Wrights workshop and readings. His work can be found on the New Play Network website ( He is co-author of Teaching Introduction to Theatrical Design: A Process Based Syllabus for Costume, Scenery, and Lighting, published by Routledge in 2017. His second book, Drafting Fundamentals for the Entertainment Classroom was published by Routledge in December, 2021. You can see departmental backstage and design work at his university blog: