“I am very excited about the new professional journey ahead of me and the opportunity to work with a company that has the history and pedigree of TOMCAT,” said Garl. “I believe the future is very bright for TOMCAT and the other Vitec Group Staging Systems brands, Litec and Brilliant Stages. I’m delighted to join the exceptional international management team to continue leading the strong brand and dedicated team forward, furthering the tradition of product innovation, quality and customer service.”
Garl studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and Carnegie-Mellon University, where he earned a degree from the School of Drama in 1972. He served as a technical director, lighting designer and sound designer during college. In addition, he spent five years as the lighting designer and technical director for the summer seasons of Opera Barga in Barga (Lucca) Italy.
After graduation, Garl worked at the University of Rochester and joined the faculty in the theatre department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Prior to helping establish James Thomas Engineering in the USA, he spent five years with Holiday on Ice as the sound engineer, master electrician and lighting designer/director.
Garl has been a member of the PLASA (formerly ESTA) Technical Standards Council since its inception in 1994, serving as its chairman since 2005. He is the past chairman of the Rigging Working Group and is an active member of the E1.2 and E1.21 Task Groups. As a result of his dedication to the organization, Mike Garl received the ESTA Eva Swan Award in 2001.