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Claypaky Scenius Spots Illuminate Shakespeare’s Dark Side for Student-Produced “Macbeth” at Webster University
Lighting Designer
Josh Murphy
A.C.T Lighting
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USA – When Webster University’s Conservatory of Theater Arts staged a production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” last fall students enhanced the lighting rig with four Claypaky Scenius moving head spotlights.

The Conservatory, based in Webster Groves, Missouri, stages six student-designed and student-produced shows and a dance theater each season at the Lorreto Hilton Center. A classical version of “Macbeth” was directed by Bruce Longworth and played seven performances before Thanksgiving.

Student lighting designer, Josh Murphy, expressed an interest in “beefing up” the school’s lighting rig for “Macbeth,” so consulting lighting designer Seth Jackson called A.C.T Lighting, Inc. with whom he’s had a 20-year relationship dating from his concert touring work.

“We have our own lighting inventory, but Josh wanted more tools than we had on hand,” says Jackson, head of the concert design program and assistant professor of theatrical design. “The winners of a student competition to attend LDI had seen the Scenius fixtures at the convention and were eager to try them. A.C.T Lighting provided the opportunity for our students to put Scenius to work.”

Jackson emphasizes that the Conservatory differs from many other college theatrical programs in its goal of “training professionals from day one. We run with Equity rules and like to have technology fresh out of the gate for the students.” The student productions at the Lorreto Hilton Center share space with the Repertory Theater of St. Louis, whose season overlaps that of the school, and the Opera Theater of St. Louis, which plays a summer season. “A lot of our students also work on those productions,” Jackson explains.

The stage is a three-quarter thrust with an expansive overhead grid. The four Scenius spots hung in the grid where Murphy and his team “used pretty much every attribute of the light, including the strobe for lighting effects,” says Jackson. The Scenius fixtures were also used to give a lot of texture and treatments to surfaces.

He reports that the students “liked the quality of the beam – its brightness and flat-fieldness – as well as the quality of the color temperature. Our sound team also liked how quiet Scenius was – that was a big deal for them.”

A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive North American distributor for Claypaky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Claypaky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “I’m glad to see our top fixtures used by up and coming student designers. We thank Mr. Jackson for specifying the Scenius.“