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Allen Lee Hughes. (Photo by Kate Lord/New York University)

Allen Lee Hughes to Receive Ming Cho Lee Award

Hughes will be presented with the honor at the Henry Hewes Design Awards virtual ceremony on Oct. 14.

NEW YORK CITY: The Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee has announced that lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes will be awarded the Ming Cho Lee Lifetime Achievement Award during the Hewes’s 56th annual event, which will be held virtually on Oct. 14.

“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, in a statement. “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 theatre, 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, D.C., that bears his name. The Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee is delighted to celebrate the career and accomplishments of Allen Lee Hughes.”

Hughes, who was previously awarded a Hewes Design Award for his lighting design for K2, has worked across the country, including at the McCarter Theatre, Seattle Rep., Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, and Lincoln Center Theater, among others. Hughes has received three Tony Award nominations and has won an Outer Critics Circle Award, Joseph Maharam Award, USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in Lighting Design, Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration, and two Helen Hayes awards. His Broadway design credits 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 becomes the third recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Henry Hewes Design Awards, following scenic designer Ming Cho Lee—after whom the award was subsequently named—in 2018 and costume designer Jane Greenwood in 2019. The Hewes Design Awards honor excellence in theatrical design, with awards going to costume, lighting, and sound design, as well as notable effects “that suspend disbelief and bring shows to life.” This year’s virtual awards will be celebrated virtually on Zoom by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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