Heather McAvoy ASTC


Heather is a recognized leader in theatre planning and consulting, emphasizing collaboration and creativity in her approach to each project. She is a pragmatic and detail-oriented planner and designer with an extensive background in lighting design for live performance. She joined Schuler Shook in 2016, after thirty years as a theatre planner, principal and director for another firm, with involvement in over 250 theatre planning projects.

She brings to each project a fundamental knowledge of the process of live performance, with extensive experience not only in lighting design, but in stage and production management and technical direction. As a community volunteer, she is dedicated to promoting the value of theatrical production as an essential part of a quality education for the youth who are the future of our industry.

Significant Projects

  • Stanford University - Stanford Memorial Auditorium and Pigott Theater Renovation

    Stanford, CA

  • Matilda Torres High School

    Madera, CA

  • Oakwood School Liberal Arts Building

    Morgan Hill, CA

  • Sacramento Memorial Auditorium Renovation

    Sacramento, CA

  • Completed Prior to Joining Schuler Shook

  • Lesher Center for the Arts

    Walnut Creek, CA

  • Moonlight Amphitheater

    Vista, CA

  • Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

    Mountain View, CA

  • Orpheum Theatre Renovation

    Phoenix, AZ

  • Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Thomas Theatre

    Ashland, OR

  • Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater at the Armory

    Portland, OR

  • Seattle Children’s Theatre, Charlotte Martin Theatre

    Seattle, WA

  • Utah Shakespearean Festival, Randall L. Jones Theater

    Cedar City, UT

  • California State University, Fullerton Performing Arts Facility

    Fullerton, CA

  • Estrella Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center

    Avondale, AZ

  • Stanford University, Roble Gym Complex Renovation

    Stanford, CA

  • University of Alaska, Mat-Su College, Glen Massey Theater

    Palmer, AK

  • University of Alberta, Timms Centre for the Arts

    Edmonton, Canada

  • University of Arizona, Stevie Eller Dance Theatre

    Tucson, AZ

  • University of California, Irvine, Barclay Theater

    Irvine, CA

  • University of California, Los Angeles, Royce Hall Renovation

    Los Angeles, CA

  • University of California, Santa Cruz, Recital Hall

    Santa Cruz, CA

  • Bellarmine College Prep, Sobrato Center for Humanities and the Arts

    San Jose, CA

  • Clovis Unified School District, Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall and Dan Pessano Theater

    Clovis, CA

  • The Thacher School Performing Arts Building

    Ojai, CA


  • BA - Stanford University
  • MFA - New York University Tisch School of the Arts


  • American Society of Theatre Consultants (President, 2021-present)
  • American Society of Theatre Consultants (Vice President, 2018-2020)
  • United Scenic Artists of America
  • United States Institute for Theatre Technology
  • Illuminating Engineering Society

Presentations & Panels

  • “Implicit Bias that Women+ Experience in Theatre Engineering, Architecture and Construction”, North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference, 2021
  • “Representation Conversation: Ask US (Almost) Anything”, USITT National Conference, 2021
  • “Careers in Theatre: Production Jobs on and Beyond the Stage”, WengerWebinars, 2021
  • “A Symphony of Confusion: Sorting Through What’s Next for Our Cultural Facilities”, AIA New York Center for Architecture, 2020
  • Facilities Serving New Initiatives in Performing Arts Education, or "What the Heck is an Arts Gym?", USITT National Conference, 2019
  • A True Examination of LED Theatre Lighting Rigs, LDI Conference, 2017
  • “Now That You Have What You Want, is it What You Wanted?,” USITT National Conference, 2012
  • “How to Beat the Budget: When Value Engineering is Not Just Cost-Cutting,” LDI Conference, 2010


  • Royce Hall Seismic Renovation

    • USITT Hon­or Award, 1999
  • California State University Fullerton Performing Arts Center

    • USITT Mer­it Award, 2009
  • Stevie Eller Dance Theatre

    • USITT Mer­it Award, 2004