Webster University’s Macbeth Uses Claypaky Scenius Spots

by Kathy Eddy
LD Josh Murphy designed Macbeth at Webster University
LD Josh Murphy designed Macbeth at Webster University

ST. LOUIS, MO—For a student-designed and produced production of Macbeth at Webster University, directed by Bruce Longworth, LD Josh Murphy's lighting rig included four Claypaky Scenius moving head spotlights. To realize his design Murphy wanted to use units not in the school's inventory so spoke with Seth Jackson, head Webster's concert design program and assistant professor of theatrical design, who called A.C.T Lighting, exclusive distributor of Claypaky fixtures, to get some lights.

Further information from A.C.T Lighting (actlighting.com

“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.”  Webster University’s Conservatory of Theater Arts, based in Webster Groves, Missouri, stages six student-designed and student-produced shows and a dance theater each season at the Lorreto Hilton Center. 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.”

The Conservatory ran its own grandMA2 light console, from A.C.T Lighting, for Macbeth.   “The grandMA2 gets used a lot – whenever we need a professional console,” says Jackson.  Jaskson uses MA desks as the designer for C3 Presents’ Austin City Limits Festival and Lollapalooza.