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2022 Henry Hewes Design Awards Honorees Announced

The Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee announces today that it has chosen six artists to be honored in the areas of scenic design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, media design, and puppetry. The honorees will be acknowledged at the Henry Hewes Design Awards at the 58th annual event on October 24 in a livestream awards ceremony.

"We are pleased to announce the HHDA Honorees for the 2021-2022 theater seasons," says Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, chair of the awards committee. "We are delighted to celebrate the design community and applaud the determination, creativity and dedication of all theater designers who have persevered through difficult times and are now poised to help lead the theater into the future. These honorees and their achievements are wonderful examples of what lies ahead."

The 2021-22 honorees:
Link to Bios
Adam Rigg: (The Skin of Our Teeth, Lincoln Center Theater), Scenic Design
Dede Ayite: (Merry Wives, New York Shakespeare Festival in the Park), Costume Design
Kathy A. Perkins: (Trouble in Mind, Roundabout Theatre Company), Lighting Design
Mikaal Sulaiman: (Sanctuary City, New York Theatre Workshop), Sound Design
David Bengali: (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, Signature Theatre), Media Design
James Ortiz: (The Skin of Our Teeth, Lincoln Center Theater), Notable Effects (Puppetry Design)

"Although many of us are regularly seeing theatre -- usually masked -- with thousands of audience members," says Jenkins, "we have decided to forgo a live luncheon event until 2023." The 2022 Henry Hewes Design Awards will be a livestream event on October 24.

Four of the six 2022 honorees are receiving their first award from the Hewes committee. For the 2022 honors, 94 theater artists were nominated for outstanding artistry in 60 productions presented during the 2021-2022 New York theater season on, off, and off-off Broadway. (See link to complete list of 2022 nominees).

These annual awards honor designers for work in venues on Broadway, off Broadway and off-off Broadway, recognizing the traditional categories of Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Notable Effects. In 2020, the committee and the Hewes Foundation added new categories of Sound Design and Media Design. All nominated designs must have originated in United States productions. The Hewes Awards Committee annually considers more than 200 productions when making its nominations.

Adam Rigg led all artists with four nominations for their design work. Beowulf Boritt and Dede Ayite each received three nominations. Ten other designers received two nominations each for their work during the 2021-22 season.

The Skin of Our Teeth led all productions with six nominations and Flying Over Sunset was next with five nominations. MJ The Musical and Wedding Band followed with four nominations each. Six productions received three nominations each and 16 productions received two nominations.

As of the 2022 awards, the Committee has bestowed 331 honors on 216 artists representing 284 productions (These statistics include neither the Ming Cho Lee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Design nor the Special Citations presented to service organizations during the pandemic in 2021.)

Known as the Maharam Awards at their inception in 1965, the Hewes Awards were later renamed the American Theatre Wing Design Awards in honor of the Wing's generous sponsorship. In 1999, they became the Henry Hewes Design Awards in honor of noted critic Henry Hewes, who created the awards and served as a board member of the American Theatre Wing until his death in 2006 at age 89.

The Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee includes theatre critics Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, chair; David Barbour; David Cote; Naveen Kumar; Helen Shaw; and Martha Wade Steketee. Brittani Samuel observed the committee's 2022 deliberations and now serves as a full voting member. The awards are sponsored by the Henry Hewes Foundation for the Theater Arts.


(28 September 2022)

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