Clyde Sheets Named Director of Comparative Arts at Interlochen Arts Academy

Clyde Sheets has been named Director of Comparative Arts at Interlochen Arts Academy.

“Clyde is an exceptional interdisciplinary performance artist with strong educational experience who understands the importance of helping young artists find their path,” said Camille Colatosti, Provost at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Comparative Arts, the most recent major at the Arts Academy, is now seven years old. It was created to respond to the needs of students who desired the opportunity to pursue their interest in more than one art form at Interlochen. At the heart of this major is a belief in the fundamental educational importance of interdisciplinary and collaborative work, embodied and led by the Division Director.

A Michigan native, Clyde Sheets has worked in performance as a musician, director, producer, designer and production manager. He taught costume, set and lighting design at Interlochen Arts Academy, lighting at Grand Valley State University and Mills College in Oakland California, and production and stage management at San Francisco State University. Sheets’ lighting designs have been seen in works of theatre, ballet, contemporary dance and opera, where he’s been nominated and awarded several company and individual awards in the San Francisco Bay Area. His lighting designs for The Missing Generation and Boys in Trouble for Sean Dorsey Dance, both Isadora Duncan Dance Award-winning productions, are currently on tour in the U.S. and Europe.

In 1988, Sheets was a founding member of The Mad Dog Theater, an award-winning San Francisco band that wrote and performed original rock musicals in venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles. His career in music also includes the small label project Gimbo and several other groups as a singer, percussionist and turntablist. For Lizz Roman and Dancers, Sheets and his turntables teamed up with cellist Alex Kelly to create live sound scores using found sounds, historic recordings and effects for the company’s concerts. In 2005, this earned an Isadora Duncan Dance Award nomination for the company’s work CELLGROUND. Sheets’ lighting for Lizz Roman’s Blue Floor Reflections was chosen for exhibit by the United States Institute of Theater Technology (USITT) for the Prague Quadrennial in 2011, where Sheets was a participating conceptual designer for the USITT installation.

In contemporary music and concert design, Sheets has worked with composers and ensembles from around the world as the production stage manager and lighting director of the Other Minds Festival, a yearly event in San Francisco featuring living composers and the musicians that play their work. Past composers include Lou Harrison, Pauline Oliveros, Conlon Nancarrow, Philip Glass and Pulitzer Prize-winners Henry Brant and John Luther Adams. Musicians and ensembles include Dennis Russell Davies, Sarah Cahill, So Percussion, Kronos Quartet, Evan Ziporyn and many others.

Sheets has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage Directing and Sculpture from Central Michigan University and a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Production from San Francisco State University. He and his wife, April, make their home on Michigan’s west coast with their two teenage children, Jackson and Della.