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57th Annual Henry Hewes Design Awards Ceremony Scheduled for November 1

Legendary costume designers Toni-Leslie James and Ann Roth each will be honored with a Ming Cho Lee Award for Lifetime Achievement in Design, bestowed by the Henry Hewes Design Awards at the 57th annual event on November 1 in a livestream awards ceremony.

"As audiences don their masks, show their vaccination cards, and begin to file back into our theatres, it is an exciting time for the Henry Hewes Design Awards to lift two extraordinary talents," says Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, chair of the awards committee. "After a difficult 18 months of quarantines, alienation, and cultural disruption, who better to honor than two costume designers whose individual creative excellence have made theatrical storytelling more startling, more compelling, and more beautiful.

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

Given the dearth of new designs accessible to the Henry Hewes committee and the overwhelming challenges that faced members of the design community, the committee has also chosen to honor five service organizations whose efforts helped keep the design community functioning and healthy as the pandemic unfolded. The organizations to be honored are United Scenic Artists Local 829, the Costume Industry Coalition (CIC), the See Lighting Foundation, the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA), and Wingspace. Representatives of these organizations will be invited to speak about their vision and mission at the online ceremony, where they will be presented with a citation and a donation from the Henry Hewes Foundation for Theater Arts.

The online award ceremony will be hosted on Monday, November 1, at 8pm (Eastern USA time) via Zoom webinar by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Illinois Theatre at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Legendary theatre designer Ming Cho Lee was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Henry Hewes Design Awards and the award was renamed for him at that presentation ceremony. Lee, who has designed more than 300 productions across the globe, won a Tony Award in 1983 for K2 and taught for 48 years at the Yale School of Drama. He was also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 2013.

Lee previously won three Henry Hewes Design Awards: the first for the 1964 production of Electra at Shakespeare in the Park, the second for Ergo in 1968 at the Public Theater, and the last for K2 in 1983, for which he also won Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Lee is also a member of the Theater Hall of Fame and holds five honorary degrees.

(13 October 2021)

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