Paul Gatrell is an Associate Professor, Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance and a professional designer. As the former Head of Design for Gary Musick Productions, he designed original productions for Celebrity Cruise Lines, The Lee Greenwood Theatre, and the Music City Bowl Half-time show. Additionally, he designed for over 250 plus corporate events including The Nashville Predators, Interstate Batteries, Robert Orr Sysco, DreamWorks, Kiwanis International, Ingram Books, l’Eté du Vin, Permobil, and many others. Paul also served as Assistant Technical Director and Head Scenic for the Tennessee (now Nashville) Repertory Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee. During his five years with The Rep, he built and painted over 30 professional productions including A Perfect 36, A House Divided, Little Shop of Horrors, The Tempest, Frankenstein, Oliver, To Kill a Mockingbird, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
Paul has worked as a freelance set designer in Nashville for over 20 years. Recent set design credits include Twelfth Night, Richard III, Hamlet, A Comedy of Errors, and Romeo and Juliet with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, The House of Bernarda Alba, Sailor’s Song, The Piper, Vincent in Brixton, Sympatico, Marisol, Arabian Nights, Kimberly Akimbo, Warrior, and Glengarry Glen Ross for the Actors Bridge Ensemble, StoryBuilders and Home on the Morning Train for Theatre Craft, Inc., and Doubt for the Christian Leadership Conference. In addition, he has designed lights for End Days and The Nina Variations for Verge Theatre.
As the Chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance, Paul has served as Producer for over 100 theatrical and dance productions. He has been the Technical Director for 42 productions. Paul has been the Lighting Designer for 23 productions including A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Big Love, Dancing at Lughnasa, bobrauschenbergamerica, and Uncle Vanya. He has been the Set Designer for 28 productions including Metamorphoses, Peter Pan, The Miss Firecracker Contest, The Flies, On The Verge, and Almost Maine. Paul has mentored over 45 student designs and 25 student stage managers.
Paul has taught at Belmont University since 2002 with brief stints as an adjunct in the mid-90’s. He received his B.S. in Performing Arts from Lindenwood University and his M.F.A. in Design and Technology from University of Georgia. He is the proud recipient of the inaugural First Night Award in 2010, the Nashville Scene’s Writers Choice Award for Best Set Design for Vincent in Brixton, and the “Best Play Award” from Broadwayworld.com for Vincent in Brixton and All My Sons. He is the proud father of two sons pursuing careers in the arts, husband to a wonderful wife who promotes education, and two dogs that just like to chase tennis balls and laze about.