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Ohio Project Team

gabriel rice

Outside Sales

Gabe RiceGabriel has been passionate about lighting for as long as he can remember. A northern Ohio native, he built his first homemade light rig using coffee cans and scrap conduit. For a lighting console, he gutted and repurposed a Casio keyboard! In the late 90s, Gabriel got his start in the industry, working at various nightclubs and raves in Detroit. His first big production in which he was artistic director was in 2005 for an after-party for Super Bowl XL.

Gabe received a BFA in Technical Theatre from Wayne State University. He was an independent artist and ran his own small company, when he desired a position with a steadier income. He interviewed for the open outside sales position and in October 2013 Gabriel relocated to Cleveland to work for VLS.

When asked about his favorite type of productions, Gabe mentions that he loves big festival environments, preferably with lots of art. “Well-produced festivals tend to offer something for every person and every mood. It’s a chance to work with some of the best designers, musicians and visual artists …” He adds that it’s an incredible experience to see tens of thousands of people enjoy your art.

Random Fun Facts

  • When not working, Gabe’s life revolves around his family, music and the outdoors. Camping music festivals are greatly satisfying!
  • He prefers LEDs to conventional fixtures. When using conventionals, he prefers running them with no color or with custom gels that he’s created by cutting and taping various colors together.
  • He has met too many celebrities to mention them all, but some of his favorites include Cuba Gooding Jr, Usher, Ludacris and Carl Cox.
  • He’s infatuated with – and loves to study – numerous fields of philosophy.


Direct Dial
Main Number/Extension
(216) 475-7981  (216) 475-7600 x243 grice@vls.com



lance switzer

Project Department Manager

Lance Switzer

Lance Switzer has been involved in acting and technical work since he was a kid growing up in Parma, Ohio. When he was just twelve, he did lighting for a children’s theatre show. After graduation, Lance got a job as technical director for his old high school, then worked with community theatre.

Later, Lance was producer for various business theatre/special event companies, including CineCraft, Creative Production Services and EDR Media; which made Lance a long-time customer of VLS. In 2001, Lance joined our ranks as Project Manager; in 2007, he was promoted to Project Department Manager.

Lance’s favorite type of production to work on are musicals because they contain lots of lighting cues, after all! His favorite gel color is Rosco 53 Pale Lavender; by controlling the intensity, the color is versatile enough to be used for anything.

Random Fun Facts

  • Lance enjoys visiting wineries, antique car museums and learning about astronomy.
  • He loves all types of classic architecture, with Frank Lloyd Wright being a favorite.
  • He has met three of his four favorite celebrities: William Shatner, Jonathan Frid and Vincent Price.
  • Lance was a professional motion picture projectionist and radio station engineer out of high school.


Direct Dial
Main Number/Extension
(216) 475-7985  (216) 475-7600 x212 lswitzer@vls.com



Robert uhl

Project Manager

Robert Uhl

Robert Uhl was born and raised in Temperance, Michigan, a little town just outside of Toledo, Ohio. He attended University of Toledo and in his sophomore year, he took Intro to Light and Sound for Theatre. It was an instant attraction. Bob’s first show working backstage was running the sound board for a children’s show. He graduated with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology, and went on to earn his MFA in Lighting and Sound Design from University of Arizona.

After graduation, Bob worked at the University of South Carolina and Ohio University, both as Assistant Technical Director. In 2007, he answered a job opening ad that we had placed in ArtSearch magazine and was hired as Project Manager.

Bob enjoys working on dance productions most, because the designer is not restrained by standard conventions for lighting. The lighting designer can experiment with color, angle and texture. Bob is a long-time fan of Roscolux 339 Broadway Pink gel. It is an exciting, saturated Pink/Violet color.

Random Fun Facts

  • When Bob lived in Los Angeles, he used to go to Dorothy MacGuire’s mansion in Beverly Hills to help do work around the house and have dinner.
  • Bob loves to cook and would love to own and run his own restaurant.
  • He met James Earl Jones backstage at the Emmy’s.
  • Outside of work, his life revolves around his family and friends. He also likes to read thriller novels.


Direct Dial
Main Number/Extension
(216) 475-7993  (216) 475-7600 x218 buhl@vls.com



ellen licitra

Film and Video Project Manager

Born and (mostly) raised in Pittsburgh, Ellen has had a love for theatre for as long as she can remember; in fact, she claims she popped out of the womb wanting to do theatre. Ellen found lighting in her first tech class in Youngstown State University and never looked back. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and volunteered a good deal in community theatre. In 1995, she came to work for VLS.

She loves doing what she does - so much so that she can’t imagine wanting to do anything else for a living. Her favorite productions to work on are musical theatre. Ellen’s top picks for gel colors are Roscolux 50 and Lee 748, because of their beauty.

Random Fun Facts

  • Ellen interned with Eugene O’Neill.
  • She interviewed for the VLS Job opening with Paul Vincent over a meal at an Eat-n-Park.
  • When not at work, Ellen’s life revolves around her husband, John, church, community theatre, Zumba and yoga.
  • She once danced with Harry Chapin.


Direct Dial
(330) 746-2717 elicitra@vls.com