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Photo by Timothy Kelly

A bit about me

Hey! My name is Christian Henrriquez. Feel free to call me Chris if you'd like. If you're feeling spicy, you can call me Chrisito like my grandmother. Welcome to my design portfolio! On this site, you'll find my resume, pictures of my work, and a little info about me. Some things you won't find here are my tech table giggles, comm jokes, and dedication. I love storytelling and creating stimulating environments with lighting. I hope we get to giggle and create something really cool together soon!

My Story

My name is Christian D. Henrriquez. I'm a lighting designer and teaching artist from Costa Mesa, California. I am a queer, first-gen Salvadoran American and I am beyond grateful that I get to play with lights, make cool art, and create shows for people to experience. Storytelling is behind everything I do. My family has used storytelling as a way to keep our culture alive and passed down through our family. My career goal is to tell the stories of people across cultures and identities in hopes of fostering more empathy in the whirlwind of a world we live in.

I hold an MFA in Lighting Design and a Latin American & Caribbean Studies graduate certificate from the University of Maryland. Before pursuing my graduate studies, I honed my technical skills as an entertainment technician at the Disneyland Resort and inspired young minds as a design and technology teaching artist at various high schools across Southern California.

In 2020, I co-founded Wayward Voices with Reed Flores. Wayward Voices is an initiative of The Wayward Artist to amplify, uplift, and empower BIPOC artists. The initiative manifested as a virtual four-show season, a new play workshop, and a collaboration with California State University Fullerton’s Theatre Artists Union for Student Equity and Diversity. Though I am no longer with the company, Wayward Voices continues to empower artists to tell their stories.

I am currently a company member at In The Margin: a service-minded, community-oriented art and advocacy organization comprised of multifaceted, intersectional creatives and community organizers from around the country.

In 2024, I became a part of La Gente: The Latinx Theatre Production Network. La Gente is a collective of Latinx theatre designers, artists, technicians, and managers around the US. We believe in the transformative power of theatre and our collective dream of a performance industry that includes room for all. We have a profound belief that theatre is more beautiful with more of us at the table.

Design Philosophy

My design philosophy is two-fold. Aesthetics and production approaches work in synergy. My design aesthetic prioritizes color and texture. My Latin American upbringing showed me that food, music, clothing, people, stories, and every aspect of our community is colorful. Life is lived in a spectrum of vivid colors. This life experience has inspired me to use color when creating emotional and energetic environments in my work. I use bold color palettes to accentuate the characters' emotional landscape and shape the atmosphere. Texture works in tandem to create those atmospheres. I define texture as the use of shadow/light, lines, depth, and accents to shape a composition. Each of these characteristics helps add dimension, tension, and relief. I find it impossible to separate my art from my identity. My cultural experiences are the most valuable part of my identity, and I could not create my art without them.

 

In addition to design aesthetics, I aim to keep a human-focused approach in my work. To me, “human-focused” means prioritizing the needs, experiences, and well-being of the people I work with. It is about deeply understanding and empathizing with human experiences, ensuring that whatever is being developed considers accessibility, inclusion, mental health, and the overall well-being of a person. I believe that a working environment should excite people and encourage them to be present. To support a positive environment, I actively choose to engage in empathic and responsive listening. I am a firm believer that working in community is the key to collaboration and storytelling. I am actively exploring what “working in community” means to me. At this point in my life, it means prioritizing learning and mentorship, creating a safe and respectful working environment, encouraging interrogation of ideas, and acknowledging opportunities for personal growth. It also means examining a story and approaching it with empathy and honesty. Approaching a theatrical work intentionally to share moments with other people in hopes of better understanding our diverse experiences. At the end of the day, theater is a tool for storytelling and participating in the human experience.

Contact

I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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