Employee Highlight Reel | June 2019 | Jonathan Rustebakke

Behind the Scenes with a Lighting Designer

Lighting designers make any event production shine bright — and we’re talking literally here. From drab to fab, your event lighting can truly transform your entire event. With a trained lighting designer, your event design will make a lasting impression on your guests. 

From the technical drawings of the stage lighting plot to the creative color design for each show, lighting designers must be incredibly knowledgeable and artistic. The lighting design process begins with the concept, then is built into a rigging plot to accommodate the stage build and lighting fixtures needed for the event. Once the lighting is rigged on the stage set, the lighting professional will usually test and program each fixture to compliment the venue. It’s crucial for lighting designers to understand the event’s general design concept and timeline so they can appropriately integrate their light show into the event’s agenda. 

At Wired Production Group, we are lucky to have Jonathan Rustebakke on our staff as one of our lighting designers. 

For the past two years, Jonathan has been a part of the Wired Production Group crew. Jonathan has brought many new lighting techniques to our team. He is always willing to try new things for our clients and their shows. Jonathan never likes to create the same show twice. He’s great at changing things up to create a vibrant, beautiful, well-lit statement on any stage. 

Prior to his career with Wired Production Group, Jonathan spent many years in the world of theatrical lighting and event production on cruise ships. He worked for Carnival Cruise Line as their lighting designer in the Carribean. While Jonathan is born and raised in the Midwest, his adventurous heart led him to sea and brought him many years of experience in the lighting design world. Jonathan also met his wife, Gabriella, while working on the cruise ships. Since their marriage in 2011, Jonathan and Gabriella have brought two sweet children into this world, Paul and Astrid. He is very proud to be a dad (and a great one at that!). When Jonathan is not working on corporate events, outdoor concerts, or other event productions with our crew or spending time with his family, Jonathan is passionate about volunteering at his church in Cedar Rapids as Tech Ministry Coordinator. 

Thank you, Jonathan, for your hard work every day! We appreciate having you on our team. 


Here’s what others have to say about Jonathan…

“A great all-around tech who bakes the best cheesecake this side of New York.” – Bruce Bingman, Client Account Manager

I’ve known Jonathan for over 20 years. He’s a good guy, he’s always up for a laugh, and he is devoted to his family.” – Bandi Arp, Truck Driver / Warehouse Associate

“Rusty has really opened up and let his personality shine over the last year. I’ve gotten to know him better and appreciate his wit and general aptitude toward helping when needed. He makes everything brighter and produces really cute kids!” – Billy Peifer, Operations Manager

“He’s a nice guy who is always willing to help and he enjoys what he does.” – Jesse Snyder, Lighting Designer

Our lighting designers work very hard to make sure all of our shows ‘light up’ and wow the audiences. Jonathan is one-half of our fantastic lighting department! His technical ability to design whatever the client is looking for shows in the work he does and creates. We appreciate all his hard work and dedication to the team.” – Kim Klein, Office Manager

“He’s a good guy. Incredibly kind and genuine.” – Nicole Schroeder, Marketing Project Coordinator

“Rusty makes it possible to see where you are walking when the house lights are gone. I always think of reading, ‘Keep the Lights Burning, Abby,’ when I’m in a dark venue while working with him. Keep the lights burning, Jon-boy. Deliver is from darkness in RGB splendor…” – Will Kisner, Production Specialist Engineer

“Thanks for keeping the lights on!”  – Doug Netolicky, VP of Business Development 

“Jonathan’s diverse background in the theater and cruise ship industries allows him to approach our business with great perspective. His prior experience in design, operation and maintenance has proven to be a significant skill-set in the development of our procedures and his jovial personality makes him a pleasure to work with. Plus, you’ve got to like a guy who can instantaneously quote any line from The Big Lebowski. I look forward to seeing Jonathan grow further with the company.” – Aaron Wells, COO

“Jonathan is always willing to jump in and do what it takes to make the show happen. As one of our Lighting Designers he always comes with new ideas and designs to take our light shows to a new level. With his vast background in lighting on cruise ships, theatrical events and concerts he is one of our many creative minds behind the scenes. I count on him to often be looking at new technologies and ways to do things different and better than our competition. He continues to do a great job with our CAD drawings and coming up with ideas and designs to wow our customers. I am thankful to have him as a valued part of the team.” – Ron Rausch, President/CEO

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