About Merle DeWitt III
Merle DeWitt III has his BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is currently pursuing his MFA in Drama focusing in Lighting and Projection Design at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and is on course for graduation in June of 2021. During his time at UTEP and UCI, Merle has further grown not only as a theatrical lighting and projections designer, but has also been fortunate enough to be able to branch out into video editing for theatre productions, as well as digital media creation.
Alongside his creative endeavors Merle is one of the founding members, and current General Manager & Technical Director, of K.B. Theatre Company, in El Paso, TX., a young theatre company that he runs alongside his collaborators and friends, artistic director Stephanie Carrillo and Managing Director & Associate Creative Director Jesús López Vargas. K.B. focuses mainly on supporting young local artists with their career development whilst providing experiences to exercise their training. In the summer of 2020, the company produced "Re-Creating the Stage: a Roundtable for our New Reality", a virtual, nationwide, and free summer program aimed at undergraduate/graduate-level students and young industry professionals in the United States who lost their internships, apprenticeships & summer work opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis.
When not designing or working for K.B., Merle also produces works alongside his husband Jesús López Vargas. Merle and Jesús have been working together for more than 5 years now and they have produced several works to include live-performance productions and experimental short-films. The first was an original production, RED (2017), which was a thirty five minute, performance poetry piece that touched on themes of trauma & healing. The second original production produced by Merle and Jesús was, /Echo (2018), which opened on April 5th, 2018 for a 7-performance sold-out run; this hour-long production had a score & script involving lyrical narrative, performance poetry, contemporary dance & rap. In late summer 2020 Merle and Jesús started work on a short film titled Symptoma 20 (2020). This short film is a post-dramatic video project and was created in collaboration with Moon Collective and several international artists. This was digitally released for a limited run on October 31st, 2020 (Halloween) and is still in the works to have full release (dates still to be announced).
While finishing his degree this spring Merle will continue creating virtual projects with some of his close collaborators to include the expansion of a VR project currently planned as his MFA thesis. After graduation in June, Merle will be spending a brief time at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as an Assistant Lighting Designer after which he will continue his freelance career with plans to be based in the eastern United States.