Internationally acclaimed theatre and opera lighting designer Chris Parry died in January at age 54 in San Diego, where he was a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego.

Trained in his native England, Parry designed internationally for more than 30 years, earning the Tony Award, the British Olivier Award, and 25 other major awards and nominations, including the New York Drama Desk Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award.

His work included 160 British and US regional theatre and opera designs, as well as several Broadway productions. Among his credits were The Who's Tommy, directed by Des MacAnuff, which won Parry the Tony Award. Other highlights of his long career in lighting direction include 24 productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre in England, as well as work for the Los Angles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of Lucca (Italy), La Jolla Playhouse, and many other prestigious venues.

In addition to his teaching work with undergraduate and graduate students, Parry had credits in lighting design for television and motion pictures. He was also owner of Axiom Lighting, his own entertainment and architectural design company in San Diego.

He is survived by a son, Richard, and former wife, Vivien Gregg, as well as his stepmother, Noelle Parry.

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego will hold “A Tribute to Chris Parry: Let There Be Light” on February 25 at 4pm in the Forum Theatre on campus. This event has been organized by UCSD graduate students. For more information, visit

Live Design will run a retrospective on Parry's career in March. Please visit our website for comments shared by his friends and colleagues at