Broome Arts Mirror offers its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of master lighting designer John Eloy Vestal of Vestal, who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday (Oct. 27) at the age of 77.
In 1973, Vestal joined the faculty of the then-SUNY Binghamton (now Binghamton University) Department of Theatre. He taught lighting design and drafting there for more than 40 years. He served as department chairman for 20 years and designed approximately 244 productions.
He also was a founding member of the original Cider Mill Playhouse, which started in 1976. He helped construct the interior of the theater and served as the resident lighting designer (and occasional scenic designer and technical director) until 1991.
Vestal was a guest artist both regionally, for theatrical companies such as Tri-Cities Opera, and around the world. His obituary in the Press & Sun-Bulletin does not exaggerate when it states that “he dazzled show-goers with his mood-setting lighting design that had the amazing ability to draw the audience right into the scene.”
John Vestal is survived by his wife, Patricia; his daughter, Erin, and son John (Victoria), and his beloved granddaughters Madison, Emersyn and Riley.
The family will receive friends and loved ones from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 31) at Allen Memorial Home; 511-513 E. Main St., Endicott. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Binghamton University Department of Theatre or a charity of your choice.
— Barb Van Atta