Henry Grillo

I teach a very specific graphic communication skill, and students often have difficulty understanding its relevance to the things they will do in the profession and in life beyond the obvious application.  So, I teach that these skills, and the disciplines of seeing, doing, exploring, and problem solving, are applicable to many of life’s processes, not just Production Design.

I do not give in to the temptation to teach students a trade. I push them into becoming thinkers and creative problem solvers, helping them remain true to their calling as artists with voices and the abilities to tell their stories.

Career Highlights

  • Over forty years as an educator, teaching production and design courses at Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Evansville, and University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Design & Production and Filmmaking).
  • Technical, set, lighting, and sound design for hundreds of productions in university settings, professional companies, film, and television, throughout my career.
  • Director of the Graduate Program in Design & Production (UNCSA), overseeing the grown in programs from four disciplines to ten.
  • First UNCSA Administrative Fellow and first Director of Faculty Enrichment Center at UNCSA.
  • First Associate Dean on the UNCSA campus, in the School of Filmmaking.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • NCSA Faculty Teaching Award
  • UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching


  • Member, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
  • Member, United States Institute for Theater Technology
  • Member, American Institute of Steel Construction – Professional member (educator)


M.F.A. Theatrical ProductionCarnegie Mellon University

B.A. Music Theory and CompositionCornell University