By Barnett Wright
The Birmingham Times
Lyndell T. McDonald is ready for the World stage.
McDonald, a Montgomery, Ala. native and assistant professor and technical supervisor at the University of Alabama, is the person responsible for creating and facilitating staging and production props for the opening and closing ceremonies for the World Games 2022, which take place in the Birmingham metro area from July 7-17.
“I am grateful to work with a team of dedicated professionals and artists, to showcase our state to the world,” said McDonald. “I developed my passion for technical production and art through the educational and professional experiences that I’ve had in this state, and being able to create a stage for this event has been an honor of a lifetime.”
The World Games is an 11-day international multi-sport event organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. An anticipated 3,600 elite athletes from over 100 countries will compete for gold in more than 30 sports.
While growing up in Montgomery, Ala., McDonald attended Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, where he began to learn all aspects of technical production for live performances.
A two-time graduate of The University of Alabama, he earned his bachelor of arts degree and masters in fine arts degree in design and technical production and has been employed by UA since 2005.
In addition to his roles at UA, he is also the owner of a lighting and production design company, 2L7, LLC.
“It has been a joy working with Lyndell throughout this process,” said Dr. Henry Panion, Artistic Director for The World Games Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony. “He is remarkably gifted in all things production and has played a major role in making sure that all elements of the Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony come together.”
McDonald has designed a stage reflective of Alabama’s history while showcasing some it’s most talented performers.
“As an educator I am always searching for ways to grow and learn,” said McDonald. “I have been working on productions, in some capacity, for over 20 years and this experience has pushed me as a professional and as artist”.
The stage, designed by McDonald, was crafted to provide both performers and the audience with a unique and memorable experience. The ceremonies will be a once in a lifetime experience, not only for the artists who are performing, but also for the audience.
“Our goal was to bring producers and artists together to show the world just how much talent is right here in Alabama,” says Rashada LeRoy, Executive Producer of The World Games Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony. “Lyndell’s passion for the arts and experience in producing world class events will help make The World Games experience unforgettable for all in attendance.”
Performers on McDonald’s stage include Lionel Richie, Yolanda Adams, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bo Bice, Sara Evans, Taylor Hicks, Jamey Johnson, Nelly, Pastor Mike Jr., Martha Reeves, Sheila E., Ruben Studdard, Tony! Toni! Tone!, Worth The Wait, Yung Bleu and more.
Funk legend, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins serving as Master of Ceremonies.
McDonald has worked for a host of companies and organizations including: The University of Alabama, Alabama State University, the Contemporary Choreographers Collective (COCO) Dance Festival in Trinidad and
Tobago, the American College Dance Association, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the American Ballet Theatre, the Contemporary Choreographers Collective Dance Festival, the American College Dance Association, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Opera Birmingham, Birmingham Ballet, and the Alabama Project. In addition, he is a member of the IATSE local 78 stage union.
Tickets can be purchased for both events at www.twg2022.com.