Since 1965, the Henry Hewes Design Awards have recognized outstanding achievement in design for theatre on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway, celebrating the fields of scenic design, costume design, lighting design, and notable effects: a unique category that includes achievement in sound, music, video, and puppetry. We would like to congratulate the Vectorworks Spotlight users who are among the 66 nominated artists and four award winners from 49 productions that ran during the 2014-2015 season.
Before “Hamilton” was the most popular show on Broadway, it was selling out its run off-Broadway at the Public Theatre. The musical, which peers into the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through a fusion of musical genres, owes its signature look and sound in part to designers Howell Binkley and Nevin Steinberg, who have since helped adapt the show for the Broadway stage and were honored with Henry Hewes Design Awards for their work.
Binkley, who was honored with the award for lighting design, started his career designing lights for dance performances before making a name for himself on Broadway. He won the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in 2005 for “Jersey Boys” and has received critical recognition for his work on recent shows like the 2011 revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “After Midnight.”
In a recent webinar with LiveDesign Online, Binkley discussed his experiences using Spotlight to design the lighting for “Hamilton” for two distinct theatres. Though the spaces presented different challenges, Binkley has soared, receiving accolades for both iterations of the musical. A review from Vogue of the off-Broadway production stated that Binkley’s lighting “evokes with equal artistry the candlelit glow of an eighteenth-century drawing room and the electric flash of a rock concert.”
Nevin Steinberg, winner of the “Notable Effects” category for his sound design for “Hamilton,” is a Broadway veteran, working on audio engineering and sound design for “In the Heights,” “Monty Python's Spamalot,” and “Avenue Q.” The Harvard graduate is a former principal and founder of the sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, which received five Tony Award nominations over a decade. Steinberg has also worked on off-Broadway, regional, and national touring productions, as well as concerts and events for The New York Philharmonic and The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Vectorworks software user Riccardo Hernandez was honored for best scenic design for New York Theatre Workshop’s “The Invisible Hand,” which told the story of an American banker being held for ransom in a Pakistani prison. Hernandez was praised for his creation of the set, a bare metal prison cell, that “feels both transitory and somehow ominous,” according to the New York Times.
Argentinean-born Hernandez has set himself apart in the theatre world for his work in both Broadway and regional theatres, creating realistic looking spaces rather than typical theatrical “scenery” by using real materials for a genuine effect. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Hernandez was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design in 1999 for the musical "Parade," and his scenic design was featured in notable shows such as “Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk,” “Caroline or Change,” and the 2012 revival of the Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
In addition to the winners listed above, here are the other Vectorworks software users who were nominated for a 2015 Henry Hewes Design Award:
Scenic Design Nominees
- Andrew Lieberman – “The Wayside Motor Inn”
- Beowulf Boritt – “On the Town”
- Brett J. Banakis – “D Deb Debbie Deborah”
- Brett J. Banakis – “Big Love”
- David Rockwell – “On the Twentieth Century”
- David Rockwell – “You Can't Take It With You”
- Derek McLane – “Into the Woods”
- Riccardo Hernandez – “The Invisible Hand”
- Mimi Lien – “The Oldest Boy”
- Rachel Hauck – “And I and Silence”
Notable Effects Nominees
- Asa Wember (Sound Design) – “brownsville song (b-side for tray)”
- Darrel Maloney (Projection Design) – “Found”
- Kevin O'Donnell (Sound Design) – “Big Love”
- Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design) – “Hamilton”
- Roger Hanna and Price Johnston (Projection Design) – “Donogoo”
Lighting Design Nominees
- Bradley King – “And I and Silence”
- Christian DeAngelis – “The Fatal Weakness”
- Donald Holder – “The King and I”
- Howell Binkley – “Hamilton”
- Jason Lyons – “On the Town”
- Natasha Katz – “The Iceman Cometh”
- Tyler Micoleau – “The Wayside Motor Inn”
Vectorworks would like congratulate the nominees and honorees on their achievement, and we wish you continued success in the future!