Allen Lee Hughes to Receive Ming Cho Lee Lifetime Achievement Award at Henry Hewes Design Awards
September 16, 2020
Photo by Kate Lord/New York University
Legendary lighting designer and teacher Allen Lee Hughes will be honored with the Ming Cho Lee Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed by the Henry Hewes Design Awards at the 56th annual event on October 14 in a livestream awards ceremony via Zoom webinar by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hughes was previously honored by the Hewes committee in 1983 for K2and has been nominated numerous times for other productions.
“It is especially gratifying to honor Allen Lee Hughes, whose nearly five decades of work in lighting design demonstrates the power of light and shadow to strengthen the dramaturgical core of every production on which he works,” said Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, chair of the Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee. “We have only to think of last season’s production of Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play, among many others, to recall how his design added meticulous detail that was understated but powerful while driven always by the demands of the text. In production after production, in dance and theater, on Broadway and off, and all around the United States he has lit a path for the next generation of designers as a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and through the Fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, that bears his name. The Henry Hewes Design Awards committee is delighted to celebrate the career and accomplishments of Allen Lee Hughes.”
One of the world’s top lighting designers, Hughes’s work has been seen at major theaters including the McCarter Theatre, Seattle Rep, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, and Mark Taper Forum. New York designs include work at Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, New York Shakespeare Festival, and Lincoln Center Theater.
Hughes has been honored with three Tony nominations, Audelco and Ovation Award nominations, Outer Critics Circle Award, Joseph Maharam Award, USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in Lighting Design, Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration, two Helen Hayes awards and eight other Helen Hayes nominations. He was the recipient of the 2015 National Black Theatre Festival Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design Award and is proud that The Fellows’ Program at Arena Stage bears his name. His Broadway designs include: A Soldier’s Play; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Clybourne Park; Having Our Say; Mule Bone; Once on this Island; K2; Strange Interlude; Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Quilters.
Hughes is only the third recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Henry Hewes Design Awards. The first recipient, and for whom the award was subsequently named, was the iconic theatre designer Ming Cho Lee in 2018. The renowned costume designer Jane Greenwood received the newly named Ming Cho Lee Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019.