When she first came to Towson University, Lily Twining ’03 didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. But professors in the Department of Theatre Arts helped her find her niche.
“I did a little of everything—lighting, sound, stage managing, costumes, designing, scenery—and I think that allowed me to really narrow down what part of the theatre field I wanted to work in,” explains Twining, who now owns her own production company in New York City.
“The experiences I had working in all of those different fields has helped me to be a better production manager in my career. I am more qualified to help oversee all of the technical aspects of a production since I have hands-on experience in every area.”
The theatre department’s 2014 Honored Alumna has been living and working in New York for the last ten years. After completing her MFA in Technical Design and Production at the Yale School of Drama, she rapidly rose from assistant rigger to owning her own production services company.
“I think the key to my success has been working hard and being open to new experiences. I always had an idea of exactly what my career would look like, but it really took off once I dropped that idea and became open to anything that would come my way,” she admits.
“That is how I ended up working on Spiderman and living in New York City. Neither of those things were really ever part of my ‘plan,’ but I am where I am because I was open to the idea of something I had never really planned for. Starting a company was never part of my plan either, but it’s been life changing and I couldn’t be happier with that decision.”
Twining’s Broadway credits include Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, Rocky Broadway, If/Then and the NBC Upfront 2013 at Radio City Music Hall.
“Broadway was not something I ever planned for,” she continues.
“It was something amazing and magical and distant, so the best part of working on Broadway is that I am now part of that magic. Also, it’s such a small and tight-knit community that it feels like being home in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. I walk through Times Square and get to see my name on posters, my shows’ names are up on the marquees and billboards and I run into friends everywhere I go. That is what being part of the magic feels like.”
In her spare time, Twining teaches Introduction to Entertainment Technology and Technical Productions at New York City College of Technology.
“The one thing I try to instill in my students, above all else, is a love of the entertainment field,” she says.
“We spend the majority of our lives at work so, for me, choosing a career in a field that I love has always been very important to me and I think my students will be more successful in their careers if they also have that love. I also think it makes for a more fulfilling educational experience if the students—and the professor—truly love the topics they are covering. That excitement carries through into the classroom and makes everything learned in that environment so much more rewarding and memorable.”