2021 Henry Hewes Design Awards Streams November 1

The 57th annual Henry Hewes Design Awards, which recognizes costume designers Toni-Leslie James and Ann Roth with the Ming Cho Lee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Design, airs Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET via Zoom by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Illinois Theater at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“After 18 difficult months of quarantine, alienation and cultural disruption, who better to honor than two costume designers whose individual creative excellence made theatrical storytelling more surprising, compelling and beautiful,” said Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, chairman of the awards committee, in an earlier statement.

Ming Cho Lee


“In honoring Toni-Leslie James and Ann Roth with the Ming Cho Lee Award for Lifetime Achievement, we are considering literally thousands of images from the wide range of experience of these two designers. Every garment, every piece of fabric used in the creation of their worldviews, plunges us deeper into their dramatic imaginations. “

James is three times nominated for Tony, earning nods for her work on Bernhardt / Hamlet, Jitney, and The last jelly jam. Roth is the recipient of 11 Tony nominations for costume design, winning the award in 2013 for The Nance.

The committee also honors five service organizations that have helped keep the design community functioning as the pandemic unfolded: United Scenic Artists Local 829, the Costume Industry Coalition, the See Lighting Foundation, the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association. and Wingspace. Representatives of the organizations will speak about their vision and mission at the online ceremony, where they will be presented with a citation and donation from the Henry Hewes Foundation for the Performing Arts.

The late Ming Cho Lee was the first recipient of the Henry Hewes Design Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, and the award was renamed in his honor at this presentation ceremony. Lee, who died in October 2020, has designed more than 300 productions around the world, won a Tony Award in 1983 for K2, and taught for 48 years at the Yale School of Drama.

READ: Tony-Winning theater designer Ming Cho Lee dies at 90

The annual awards honor designers for their work in Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway venues, recognizing stage, costume and lighting design, as well as notable effects (encompassing sound, music, video, projections, puppets and other creative elements).

The Hewes Awards Committee, which annually reviews over 200 productions for nominations, includes theater critics Jenkins, David Barbour, David Cote, Glenda Frank, Naveen Kumar, Helen Shaw, Michael Sommers and Martha Wade Steketee.

(Updated November 1, 2021)

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