Rupert Murray, Producer and Lighting Designer, Dead at 55

Obituaries   Rupert Murray, Producer and Lighting Designer, Dead at 55
Rupert Murray, lighting designer of the international theatrical dance sensation, Riverdance, died Aug. 17 after a battle with cancer, in Dublin, Ireland. He was 55.

A U.K. native, Mr. Murray attended Trinity College Dublin and had lived in Dublin ever since. He worked as a freelance lighting designer and theatre producer over the years. He was most closely associated with his lighting design for Riverdance and the rejuvenation of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland in the 1990s.

He started his career in the Project Arts Centre, Dublin, where he lit over 40 productions. His work has been seen in all of Ireland's major theatres, as well as internationally.

Mr. Murray lit the award-winning production of Juno and the Paycock on Broadway, starring Donal McCann and John Kavanagh.

As a producer, he coordinated the 1991 Beckett Festival in Dublin, seen in New York City at Lincoln Center in 1996, and produced a series of independent theatre productions between 1992 and 1996. From 1996 to 2000, he was festival director of the St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, where he was responsible for the organization of this annual national celebration. In June 2003, he was creative director of the Opening Ceremony for the Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Croke Park, Dublin.

He was also executive producer for DruidSynge, a marathon festival of works by the Irish master, J.M. Synge. The project recently played the Lincoln Center Festival. At the time of his death, Mr. Murray was still busy as creative director of the events and ceremonies associated with Ireland’s hosting of The Ryder Cup.

Mr. Murray is survived by his wife Sheelagh and daughter Rachel.

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