WELCOME TO SPOTLIGHT
Welcome to the latest edition of Spotlight, a look at the people who make up Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
- Dustin Riggs is chief of Protocol by day and decorated theater producer off hours. For his latest production, “Priscilla, Queen of Desert,” Riggs put on his producer hat by raising funds, hiring production staff and managing talent. To Riggs “Theater is all about transporting people to another place.”
- Physicist Branson Stephens is a time traveler of sorts. He has a fascination with “early music” by playing the viola de gamba, a cello-like instrument from the Renaissance era. The instrument went out of fashion around the 1750s, when the violin family (the violin, viola and cello) took over. But that hasn’t deterred Stephens from playing with like-minded individuals who love the genre.
- Mike Frank’s day job is a clean-cut subdued scientist working on high-consequence national security simulations. But at night he turns into a chameleon as a dive bar rock star.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Spotlight. We’d also like to hear from you. Send us your thoughts and suggestions, whether it’s what you like — or even if you don’t — about this magazine, or if there is something you would like to see in coming editions. You can reach us at pao [at] llnl.gov.
Dustin Riggs takes center stage
To most people at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Dustin Riggs is best known as the chief of Protocol. When the Laboratory hosts an important visitor or plans a special event, Riggs and the rest of the Protocol team spring into action. However, when Riggs isn’t orchestrating Protocol visits, he is a decorated theater producer.
Lab physicist tunes into the past through ‘early music
The notes sing out, throaty and silvery, reverberating like a mournful soliloquy and immersing the room in a deep baritone. To Branson Stephens, playing the viola da gamba, a cello-like instrument from the Renaissance era, is a bit like time-traveling, or conversing with a long-dead composer.
Dive Bar Rock Star
If you were to pass LLNL physicist Mike Frank in the hallway, he would appear to be a run-of-the-mill scientist, quiet and subdued, respectful and insightful. He would likely be wearing a button-up shirt neatly tucked in, with his hair neatly combed to one side. He has the look of someone who runs high-consequence national security simulations, and he takes his work seriously.