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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Michael Barnett

Interim Chair & Professor of Theatre and Film

MFA, Florida State University
BA, University of Tennessee-Knoxville


Michael Barnett is the Interim Chair of the Department of Art & Art History, Chair & Professor of Lighting Design in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of Mississippi where he heads the BFA Lighting Design Program. He is currently serving as the Past Chair of the Faculty Senate after serving as the Chair of the Senate for four years (2012-2016). Michael was a Fellow in the 2015-16 Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program and was a 2008 Faculty Research Fellow at the University of Mississippi where he examined the differences in Lighting Design Approaches between the United States and Europe.

Michael is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local #829 and recently served as the Chair of the Design & Technology Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). Michael received his MFA in Lighting Design from Florida State University and his BA in College Scholars from the University of Tennessee. Previously, Michael served as Assistant Professor of Theatre for three years at Tennessee State University.

Recent designs include: National Tour (Forever Plaid, Miracle on 34th Street); North Shore Music Theatre (Grease, The Sound of Music); Faction of Fools (Our Town, Titus Andronicus); Barter Theatre (Tarzan, Beauty & the Beast, Always…Patsy Cline, The Wizard of Oz, Kiss Me Kate, Dial “M” for Murder, Saving Old Smokey, October Before I Was Born, Forever Plaid); Arkansas Repertory Theatre (Always…Patsy Cline); Gulfshore Playhouse (The Who & The What); Florida Studio Theatre (Becoming Dr. Ruth); Tennessee Repertory Theatre [Associate Artist] (Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Big River, Superior Donuts, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Red, The 39 Steps, Yankee Tavern, Steel Magnolias, The Underpants, Moonlight and Magnolias, Santaland Diaries, A Christmas Story); Nashville Repertory Theatre [Associate Artist] (Sweeney Todd, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, A Christmas Story, The Whipping Man, Noises Off); Tennessee Williams Festival (Sweet Bird of Youth); Cumberland County Playhouse (My Fair Lady); Tennessee Shakespeare Festival (Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Seaside Music Theatre (Working).

Areas of Specialization
Lighting design, sound design, computer-aided design, history of lighting design in Europe and the US