Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Chance Opportunity Takes Manhattanville College’s Technical Director Around the World

Gregory Bain

Gregory Bain, Manhattanville’s technical director and resident lighting and sound designer, had his life change forever when he met up with dancer friends Arnie Zane, Bill T. Jones, Lois Welk and others in 1978.

They were preparing for a dance concert, which would also feature Daniel Nagrin, and their technical director had just quit. Having just left his job with Xerox, he decided to try and help them, Bain recalls. Between his background as an electrical engineer and what the dancers were able to express to him, he learned how to light a stage and his career took off from there.

“I have had a very long career with no regrets,” he said explaining that learning how to light for dance from the artists themselves helped him immensely.

Through his friendship with Zane, Jones, and Welk, and working with others including the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Murray Louis, and Twyla Tharp, Bain has traveled the world. These opportunities have led to him meet the Japanese National Treasurer, the Prince of Japan, and lunch with Princess Caroline of Monaco.

“I have dined with Kings and Queens so to speak,” Bain said, adding that it’s easier for him to name the countries he has not been to rather than the ones he has.

Having good fortune and opportunities come to him is one of the reasons why he decided to go into education and join Manhattanville College last year.

“I want to open that door for people who don’t have access to it,” Bain said, explaining that working with emerging artists is a passion of his.

He also decided to take the position with Manhattanville to help students’ graduate from college with their own creative voice while learning the language of theatre. He explained the language of theatre as being able to express their vision to others by using very specific details, such as gel numbers for colors, to make it come to life.

“I want them to stay excited about themselves their creativity, their voice, and their expression,” Bain said. 

In addition to his position at Manhattanville, Bain continues to work professionally having recently finished a project with Lucinda Childs in Philadelphia. This March he will return there to work on a Flamenco project which will feature Spanish dancers.