Chris Parry, Broadway Lighting Designer, Dies at 54

Obituaries   Chris Parry, Broadway Lighting Designer, Dies at 54
Chris Parry, a lighting designer who worked internationally and won a Tony Award for his work on Broadway, has died. He was 54 and lived in San Diego, where he was a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.

An Englishman by birth, he worked only a handful of times on Broadway, but was well honored for his efforts. His lighting designs for the original New York stagings of Les Liasons Dangereuses, The Who's Tommy and Tennessee Williams' early play Not About Nightingales were all Tony-nominated. He won the Tony for Tommy and Drama Desk Awards for all three shows.

His other Broadway credits included a 1995 production of Brian Friel's Translations, Howard Korder's dark comedy Search and Destroy and Donald Margulies' Brooklyn Boy. In much of his work, he proved himself adept at finding the shadows as well as the rays of light in a production. In Nightingales, which takes place in a prison, his lighting was often the only thing that indicated if the action was in a dank cell, a boiler room, the warden's office or a common area.

Ben Brantley, in his review in the New York Times, talked of the "crepuscular lighting, in which even the shadows have oppressive substance. "

Mr. Parry's other honors included the British Olivier Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award. Trained in England, he designed dozens of British productions, including 24 productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and shows at the Royal National Theatre. He also worked in regional theatre in the U.S.

He moved to the U.S. in 1989. he was presented the LDI Lighting Designer of the Year Award in 1994 by Lighting Dimensions magazine. He is survived by his son, Richard, and former wife, Vivien Gregg, both of San Diego, as well as his step-mother, Noelle Parry, of the United Kingdom.

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