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Who's Who | Jordan Sell: Painting with light, one scene at a time

At 17-years-old Jordan Sells is picking up gigs to work lights for stage productions in the Seattle area. - Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review
At 17-years-old Jordan Sells is picking up gigs to work lights for stage productions in the Seattle area.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / Bainbridge Island Review

Editor's note: Each year, the Bainbridge Island Review publishes our Who's Who, a special section filled with personality profiles of the people who help make Bainbridge Island unique.

Jordan Sell has seen the light. Quite a few lights actually, and she likes what she sees.

If you have been to a production at Bainbridge Performing Arts, chances are you are familiar with Sell's work, though you might not be aware of it.

“I’m a painter with lights,” Sell said. “I look at the stage and throw on color and make sure the contours of the faces are correct.”

Sell keeps busy. At 17, and a high school senior taking full-time college classes through the Running Start program at Seattle Central University, she also helps out at BPA’s theater. She assists with technical aspects of the stage.

Sell grew up in the business. Her father works as a technical director for BPA.

Growing up, she watched theater productions and felt drawn to the lighting aspects of the big shows. When she was 13, she took advantage of her connections through her dad and began to assist with theater productions.

Her talent in the field has already brought Sell some gigs. Sell said that it helps to live in the Seattle area, a place that provides plenty of opportunities for techs like herself.

“I like Seattle because I have more job opportunities here,” she said. “I worked Bumbershoot and I was an assistant technical director for the Center House Theater.”

She also designs lighting for small-scale shows and works on performances with the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra.

In April, her enthusiasm for her profession earned her special weekend of instruction with technical directors from Cirque Du Soleil — her dream job.

“One day I would love to work for Cirque Du Soleil,” Sell said. “They are the lead company in the world. They are so innovative and amazing.”

In the meantime, she is taking advantage of her hometown resources. She is currently hard at work organizing an island music festival at BPA. Seattle indie stars The Hoot Hoots have already signed on to headline the festival on Aug. 9.

The money she raises from the festival will go to benefit the One Drop charity that helps provide clean water in parts of the world where the vital resource is scarce.

“I’m putting on a small-scale music festival in support of the One Drop Foundation,” Sell said. “As well as creating a cool scene for music on Bainbridge.”

A music scene for the younger generation is something she sees lacking on Bainbridge Island.

“It’s not accessible to the 15- to 25-year-old crowd,” she said.

While she is currently buried in festival work, Sell is already thinking about other music events to organize on the island.

When Sell finishes her senior year with a diploma and an associate’s degree, she plans to waste no time and go where she can further her illuminating aspirations: Portland State University.

“I have really clicked with that school,” Sell said. “And I like Portland.”

With her plans laid out, Sell is one young islander who is determined to shine.

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