Staff Profile: Lisa Nighswander – Head of Properties
How long have you been at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’ve worked for Soulpepper for 10 years and as head of the props department I, along with my props team Greg, research, find, buy, build the props for all Soulpepper productions.
What has your job consisted of lately?
Right now True West has me scouring second hand shops throughout the GTA and beyond for toasters, typewriters and all things 1970’s.
La Ronde is also in rehearsal and it’s a modern design for which I’m shopping and will be doing some sewing and upholstery. Also known as “soft” props.
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?
I’m the singer and sometimes bass guitar player for the band Mean Red Spiders. We play what I’d describe as melodic pop doused in loud, fuzzy, reverb guitars. We’ve been together for years and are founding members of the Wavelength Music Series. Being in the band has taken me on many amazing adventures including playing the Virgin Fest with Flaming Lips and touring across Canada and the U.S. We don’t play live much these days, but will be recording again this year.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
I have an 8 year old son so much of my leisure time involves doing things with him. I’m a big fan of nature so we often go biking, hiking and in the summer do as much camping and canoeing as possible.
Decorating and redecorating my house is a bit of an obsession, which is I guess is an extension of my job as set dresser.
What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?
For me, the thing I love most about Soulpepper is the wildly creative environment and the team of really smart people working here. It’s great to have the shops next to the rehearsal halls. Actors and directors can wander in and out to see what we’re up to. The process of building a production is always exciting and I love the moment when I’m watching the tech dress and, wow, the set is a fully realized version of the designer’s model, which means I was a part of fulfilling the vision. And the talent of the actors continues to amaze me.