Technical Productions Inc.

a design and production group for the
touring, meeting and event industry
LD Seth Jackson Joins Technical Productions Inc.
PLSN Magazine
by Nook Schoenfeld
February 4, 2016

From left - Gene Brian (Director Engineering/Operations), Seth Jackson (Production Designer), Elizabeth O’Keefe (Director Creative Services) and Michael O’Keefe (CEO).

ST. LOUIS – Technical Productions, Inc. noted that LD/production designer Seth Jackson has joined the firm as a full time member of its executive creative team. Jackson will work on behalf of TPI as Production Designer. Pictured here, from left, is the new TPI Executive Team: Gene Brian (Director Engineering/Operations), Seth Jackson (Production Designer), Elizabeth O’Keefe (Director Creative Services) and Michael O’Keefe (CEO).

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“This is a huge step forward for both of us, and we’re both able to service our existing and potential clients better because of this synergy,” says Michael O’Keefe, CEO of Technical Productions Inc. (TPI). “For Seth, he has better facilities at his disposal and the support of a full service office. And TPI gains full-time access to his design talent – Seth is absolutely one of the most creative designers working today.” This merger comes at an opportune time for both. “TPI is expanding in a lot of new areas, and we need what Seth brings to the table on a daily basis, from conceptual ideas to final design,” he says. “At the same time, Seth found himself increasingly in demand and spending too much of his time on the day-to-day details of running a business like accounting, etc. Becoming part of the TPI team allows him the time to get back to where his heart has always been – in the design work.”

“For many years, I would reach out and partner with various vendors for video or lighting programming needs but have always had an open door and an office here at TPI,” Jackson says. He has worked closely with TPI since before he graduated from Webster University in 1992, where he is now an Associate Professor and Head of the Concert Design program for the Conservatory of Theatre Arts. He worked with TPI Director of Creative Services Elizabeth O’Keefe on many events and tours (they partnered on Carrie Underwood in 2007 and have two Parnelli Awards in Best Set/Scenic Design for their work with Toby Keith in 2007 and 2008). This move formalizes that relationship and Jackson now works exclusively under the TPI umbrella.

“Instead of sitting around by myself, I have a room full of talented people to bounce ideas off of,” Jackson says. Motioning to the nice office that is TPI’s HQ, he laughs and adds: “This is a nice bump up from the early days of me sitting with my laptop in some abandoned warehouse wondering if something looks good or not!”

After Jackson graduated from St. Louis’ Webster University, he moved to Nashville where he went to work for Vari*Lite. He would return to St. Louis and started 3SR Creative in 2000, and he has since built a remarkable resume that includes theater (Thoroughly Modern Milli, Chicago, Aladdin); special events (Star Wars: In Concert, American Idol Live); and tours (Toby Keith, Selena Gomez, Barry Manilow, Alice Cooper, Carrie Underwood). He’s also working on five stages at Lollapalooza, and says festivals are a major area of growth for him.

“The most important part of this business is surrounding yourself with people you can truly count on both in design and execution,” Elizabeth O’Keefe says. “When you’re under the gun, you need to have good people you know will come through for you. At TPI, we have all that under one roof now. We have an extraordinary design, engineering, and support team – I can’t think of a situation where we have to go outside our own office for a single thing, actually. We can literally show a client exactly what a show will look like in real time, in an environment that doesn’t even exist yet…all from the comfort of their own desk.”

Michael O’Keefe says that going forward, there are already some big projects happening because of this collaborative, and that there will be an increase in events and tours coming from TPI. “We are poised to tackle some really incredible work in 2016 and can’t wait to see where the future takes us.”

Technical Productions Inc. was founded in 1989 by Michael O’Keefe. Today the company employs 17 full-time staff members and a host of freelancers that are close enough to call family. TPI operates out of a 24,000 square foot facility in Maryland Heights. They design and produce events involving lighting, staging, audio, video, and special effects for corporations, fundraisers (or foundations or not-for-profits), touring artists and national athletic associations.