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Dad’s Garage starts scholarship in honor of late lighting designer

An emerging lighting designer will be chosen to work with Dad’s Garage this summer through a scholarship honoring the memory of Conan Joshua Santamaria.

Santamaria died Feb. 10 at the age of 32 after a yearlong battle with lung cancer, a press release said. 

“In Conan’s final year, every day he was healthy he would make his way back to Dad’s to design with lights,” the statement said. “Conan never regarded it as work — lighting was his love.”

Sanatamaria grew up in Marietta as the “youngest of three brothers raised by a loving single mom,” the release said. He went to Lassiter High School and got a lighting degree at Georgia College and State University.


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Santamaria worked at Turner Broadcasting and and Dad’s Garage. Theater reviews from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described his work as giving “the lighting a sharp detail” and painting “it all with lovely light.”

The comedy theater recently announced a call for applications for the “Legend of Conan Lighting Scholarship,” named as a nod to Santamaria’s nickname due to his love of “The Legend of Zelda.” The recipient will receive a three-month stipend to work with the Dad’s team on scripted plays, improv shows and videos.

Applications are due April 15 and an announcement will be made April 30. The application can be found here, and donations to this fund can be made here

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