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Synced Flash Mob and 'Human-Powered Light Show' Coming to Prospect Park

 Participants in the 2011
Participants in the 2011 "MP3 Experiment" by Improv Everywhere light up the sky at Nelson Rockefeller Park. The group is bringing the event to Prospect Park in September.
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Brian Fountain/Improv Everywhere

BROOKLYN — It’s just a walk in the park … choreographed with a few thousand people.

For the first time ever, New York’s “prank collective,” Improv Everywhere, is bringing its special brand of humor to Prospect Park for its annual “MP3 Experiment,” a coordinated flash mob-like event open to anyone with a pair of headphones.

The idea is to get everybody who wants to join in on the fun to go to a yet-to-be-determined location in the park on Friday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. There, they will await instructions from a pre-made audio recording by Improv Everywhere available for download or through its iPhone app, said the group’s founder Charlie Todd.

“People will spread out in a particular area … blending in with everybody else who’s at the park at that time,” Todd said. “And at exactly 7 c’clock, everyone will press play.”

What follows will be 45 minutes of “performance art meets comedy,” similar to Improv Everywhere’s most famous gag, the annual No Pants Subway Ride.

Last year, the group brought the MP3 Experiment to Fort Greene Park, asking participants to wear clothes in one color only and bring along small props — like balloons or a plastic grocery bag — to create different “scenes” that may involve onlookers, as well.

“We usually do some very light interactions with strangers — things like ‘Give a stranger a high-five’ or something like that — but our goal is not to make anybody participate who doesn’t want to participate,” Todd said.

Since this year’s event takes place as the sun is going down, “participants can expect a huge mob of people creating a human-powered light show,” Todd said.

The MP3 Experiment has taken place every year since 2004, but has never before come to Prospect Park. This year’s event is being hosted as part of the Brooklyn BEAT Festival, a 10-day arts festival with events in Sunset Park, Crown Heights and elsewhere.

The Sept. 18 event is free and open to the public. For updates, sign up for the MP3 Experiment newsletter at ImprovEverywhere.com.