Ohio Project Team
Theatre runs in the Vincent bloodline; Paul’s parents were heavily involved in the Cleveland theatre scene during the 20th century. Despite this, Paul’s deep love for ocean life originally had him pursuing a career in marine biology at the University of Cincinnati. One trip through the theatre department, though, changed Paul’s plans.
Paul graduated from UC with a bachelor’s degree, then a Master of Arts in Technical Theatre. He was hired as inside sales, quotations and convention manager for Kleigl in New York City. In 1978, he opened his own business in Cleveland, a manufacturer’s rep for Strand Lighting, known as Paul Vincent Associates.
More than three decades later, Paul’s business is now a successful dealer for more than 100 manufacturers, a rental house, production services provider and systems integrator, with offices in four cities. Part of his success is his dedication to the industry. Paul was a founding member of the Theatrical Dealers Association (now known as ESTA - Entertainment Services and Technology Association), a group of members who abide by a set of ethical and moral codes to provide the customer with a respectable method for doing business. Paul has also served as president for ESTA, and currently is on the Board of Directors for USITT, as well as the membership chairman for USITT – Ohio Valley Section. His work in the industry has earned him recognition such as receiving the Eva Swan award in 1999 and the designation as USITT Fellow of the Institute.
Project Department Manager
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.
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.
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.