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Clay Paky Sharpy Washes Give a New Look to Shakespeare in the Park

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” got a new musical treatment this summer at Central Park’s famed Shakespeare in the Park, and Clay Paky Sharpy Washes helped give the show a new look, too. Popular for rock and pop music tours, the Sharpy Washes were the perfect fit for the six-week run of the innovative staging of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.

The Public Theater presents free Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater every summer. This year it paired “Comedy of Errors” with a spring break-style musical version of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

The Sharpy Washes were provided to lighting designer Jeff Croiter, who lent his talents to both plays in the park. “I was very lucky to find them. I didn’t know they existed until I saw them at a demo,” he explains. “They proved to be the perfect light for us – I couldn’t imagine using anything else.”

Croiter mounted the Sharpy Washes to the set since there was no overhead lighting rig at the Delacorte. “Because they were mounted to the set, they couldn’t be very big or heavy,” he notes. “But they had to provide the majority of the backlight for the show. Sharpy Washes are small, lightweight, quiet, incredibly bright and zoomable enough to cover the whole stage without losing intensity.”

He points out that the fixtures’ color options were an added advantage. While “the biggest reason for using them was their size, overall footprint and weight, they also offered great punch and strong color options,” he says.

In addition, their “nice sleek design” meant they “looked good hanging on the set,” he reports.

“I love the Sharpy Washes – they were a perfect fit and an impressive light,” he says. “A.C.T was great about providing everything we needed. They helped us find the lights and were incredibly helpful throughout.”

George Masek, A.C.T Lighting’s Vice President of Automated Lighting, commented, “We are honored to be associated with a New York institution like Shakespeare in the Park. We believe that the Sharpy Wash is a very useful tool for theatrical lighting designers and Jeff’s great experience confirms that.”

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, comments, “It’s great to see our Sharpy Wash units employed for this type of application. They really are the perfect outdoor light and we look forward to hearing about more success from Shakespeare in the Park.”

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

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