Faces and Voices

Jonathan Shimon

Portrait of UB Assistant Professor Jonathan Shimon.

Jonathan Shimon, Assistant Professor in UB's Department of Theatre and Dance

“I was the kid who always got in trouble for taking the VCR apart.”

Jonathan Shimon has always found creativity in technology. A UB graduate and Assistant Professor of Theatre Technology, Shimon uses technology to bring theatre productions to life—and mentor up-and-coming UB students to do the same.

We asked him about what his work, which takes him all over the world, looks like.

The office is where you find yourself

“I don't do just one thing in my job... that's what I like about it. ”
Jonathan Shimon, Assistant Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance

Like a lot of people, Shimon uses technology to get work done wherever his work takes him.

“I am one of those people who can accomplish a lot on my phone,” Shimon says. “During the summer of 2017, I traveled a lot working on cruise ships, while at the same time running a build for The Nutcracker in downtown Buffalo. At one point I was on the phone ordering lumber for a production in Buffalo from the middle of the Mediterranean sea!”



Administering creativity

Shimon uses UBbox for collaborating with his colleagues on lighting plans, and keeping up-to-date budgets. “Excel is one thing I’m really good at—it’s my medium!”

Shimon is also typically in communication via UBmail with over a hundred students from different academic backgrounds at any given time, from non-majors to upper-level students he’s mentoring.

Creative problem solving is part of the job

“I don’t do just one thing in my job,” Shimon says, "And that’s what I like about it.”

If there’s one constant in Shimon’s work, it’s the use of technology to find a creative solution to a problem.

“One thing I tell people is: there are only seven tricks in technical theatre. We just constantly repackage them,” Shimon says.

“For [the Lumagination exhibit at the Erie County Botannical Gardens], I realized we’re doing something that, using the exact same parts, is now in its fourth iteration. It looks totally different to the public, but it’s the same setup.”

“My wife and I have a running joke about creative solutions. We have a two-year-old who’s starting to climb everything, so she says, “we need to babyproof this… I’m sure you’ll come up with a creative solution. It’s your job.”

If you’d like to share your tips for using technology to stay organized and accomplish goals with the UB community, send an email to ubit-communication@buffalo.edu.