Rita Kogler Carver

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Ms. Carver graduated from Cedar Crest College in 1985 with a degree in Theater. “I was dared to try out for a part in my sophomore year of college, and I got the part. When it came time for set building and technical design, and the builders asked if anyone knew how to use power tools or a screwdriver – because Cedar Crest was a women’s college at the time – so, I volunteered. My dad taught me how to do all that stuff. From then on, I always worked behind the scenes; I caught the theater bug pretty quickly.”[1] She later attended graduate school at NYU, studying under John Gleason in the Tisch School of Arts and graduating with an MFA in Lighting Design in 1989. After she graduated from NYU, she worked in both regional theater and Broadway shows.

Personal life[edit]

Rita Kogler Carver was born on January 7, 1963, to her parents Albert H. Kogler, Jr., and Rita LoVerme Kogler. She grew up in North Tonawanda, New York and went to Stroudsburg High School. On September 18, 2004, Rita married John Carver and they are currently living in Earlton, New York. Rita Kogler Carver is currently the Artistic Director for DragonFly Performing Arts Center in Cairo, New York. She is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and NABET Local 16. Ms. Carver is also a member of IES (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) ], IALD (International Association of Lighting Designers) and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Association).


After eight years, she branched out into television and continued to work on news shows, soap operas, and talk shows, until she was part of the team that designed the news studio for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, for which she won a team Emmy. “Ms Carver has been teaching for fifteen years. Recent schools where she has taught include New York University, SUNY Fredonia, Dutchess Community College, and Westchester Community College. Other teaching opportunities have been at industry trade shows as well as many articles in trade magazines” [2]

  • 1998–Present, Systems/Lighting Designer, The Lighting Design Group
  • 1989-1998 Lighting Designer, Allison/Kogler Designs
  • 1992-1998 Associate Lighting Designer, Pat Collins Enterprises

DragonFly Performing Arts Center[edit]

Ms. Carver moved out of New York City after September 11, 2001 when the twin towers fell. She moved upstate to Earlton, New York located in the Catskills, and started Dragonfly Theater in Cairo New York for students of all ages interested in theater. Dragonfly theater is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. “You can walk into a classroom in New York City and have any amount of students who want to learn about theater, but the trouble is that you find it in abundance. I like a challenge. I moved back upstate and started DragonFly so that students who do not have the immediate opportunity to learn from Theater professionals like New York City students do, can learn from my past and my experiences. These students are thirsty for knowledge, and I am ready and willing to help them learn as much as they want."[3] They have produced: Cats, Glass Menagerie, Alice in Wonderland, A Christmas Carol, Phantom Tollbooth, Snoopy!, It’s A Wonderful Life the Musical, A Mid-Summer Night Dream, and Lost in Yonkers. Classes[4] are also offered throughout the year to students from ages wight and higher.

BearFly Designs, LLC[edit]

Since the early 1970s, “John and Rita have worked in virtually every type of venue imaginable from outdoor theaters and barns to Broadway to major television networks.”[5] Started in 2003, BearFly designs were and still are primarily rooted in Weddings and parties, while also accommodating to government fundraisers and other political events.

Broadway and Regional Theater Productions[edit]

Year Show
1989 Feld Ballet
1990 Hamlet (Theater for the Blind)
1992 Guys and Dolls
1993 The Sisters Rosenwig
1994 Rigoletto
1994 Julius Caesar
1995 Pointer Sisters Ain’t Misbehavin’
1996 Elmer Gantry
1996 Once Upon a Mattress
1996 A Delicate Balance
1997 Paper Moon
1997 Titanic
1997 An American Daughter
2008 Ain’t Misbehavin’ National Tour with Ruben Stoddard
2009 Ain’t Misbehavin’ Amhanson Theater Production


Year Show
1996–1999 Discovery News
1997–1999 Good Morning America
1998 PrimeTime Live
1998–1999 Martha Stewart Living
1998–1999 Elmo’s World
1999–2006 The Montel Williams Show
1999 ESPN Sports Century
1999 Saturday Night Fever – television spot commercial

Design Credits[edit]

Time Warner Building in Columbus Circle, Bloomberg World Headquarters, ABC/Disney Times Square Studios, National Geographic Society’s Auditorium


Year Award
1998 Elmo’s World Silver Axiem Award
2000 Sydney Summer Olympics Team Emmy for Lighting Design
2003 The Montel Williams Show Emmy Nomination
2003 The Montel Williams Show Silver Axiem Award


  1. ^ Dobies, Jen (2010). Interview for Advice. Cairo, New York. 
  2. ^ [(http://www.dragonflyperformingarts.com/) "DragonFly Performing Arts"]. 
  3. ^ Dobies, Jen (2010). Interview for Advice. Cairo, New York. 
  4. ^ Carver, Rita. "DragonFly Performing Arts Classes". 
  5. ^ Carver, John. [(http://www.bearflydesigns.com/) "BearFly Designs"]. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 

External links[edit]