Portland’s Christopher Akerlind claimed his second Tony Award, for Best Lighting Design for a Play for the critically acclaimed “Indecent,” during Sunday night’s ceremony.
Akerlind had previously won a Tony for his lighting work on 2005’s “The Light in the Piazza.”
The Tony Awards – officially the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre – are Broadway’s equivalent of the Academy Awards or the Grammys.
Listen to Akerlind field questions about his trade after winning his 2017 trophy in the video clip below:
In a piece posted online by the group Creative Portland, Akerlind said he moved to Portland in 1996, but is on the road 9-10 months a year working in the theater.
“I have managed to carve out a comfortable life here, and have made good friends outside of the theater – people in various fields, whose first point of conversation with me isn’t always about the theater,” he said in the Creative Portland post. “While in New York, I am surrounded by theater talk that is gossipy and dishy, which is fun. But in Portland my friends run the spectrum, which makes for lively conversation.
“There are a lot of people in the performing arts here, designers, Portland Stage Company and the wonderful faculty of Bowdoin College whom I know via New York connections,” he continued. “I don’t think of Portland as being off the national grid. I think of Portland as a dot in a matrix of dots that represent what is happening in theater in the U.S. It has little to do to proximity to New York. It just feels like something is thriving here.”