Feb. 7, 2012 /FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE /
TONY AWARD-WINNING DESIGNER TO VISIT UNCSA
Howell Binkley, Native of Winston-Salem, Will Work With Lighting Designers
WINSTON-SALEM – Tony Award-winning lighting designer and Winston-Salem native Howell Binkley will return to town Feb. 9 and 10 as a guest artist in the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). Binkley will work with junior and senior lighting designers, and will hold a forum on professional careers in theatre.
Binkley won a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design of a Musical in 2006 for Jersey Boys. He has four additional Tony nominations: in 2011 for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; in 2009 for West Side Story; in 2008 for In the Heights; and in 1993 for Kiss of the Spider Woman. He is a five-time recipient of the Helen Hayes Award, and has twice been nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
For his stint at UNCSA, Binkley assigned two projects to the lighting designers, each involving an aspect of theatrical lighting design and based upon shows he is currently designing, according to Norman Coates, director of the lighting program at UNCSA. One project requires students to create storyboards to illustrate how they would light the first act of Two Gentlemen of Verona. During his visit, Binkley will review the students’ work on the projects, Coates said.
For the open forum, Coates said students will have the opportunity to ask Binkley questions about his background and career, and topics such as collaboration, expectations of colleagues, and the skill sets required to work at the highest level of the profession.
Interaction with working professionals such as Binkley is important for students, Coates said, because it “is a constant reminder of what it is to be a professional in show business.”
In addition to his celebrated work on Broadway musicals, Binkley has worked extensively on lighting design for dance, and is a co-founder of Parsons Dance. He has designed for American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, MoMix, Peter Pucci Plus, Hubbard Street Dance, and the Joffrey Ballet.
Binkley also has designed lighting for Metropolitan Opera House and Dallas Opera, and for companies and theatres including LaJolla Playhouse, The Shakespeare Theatre D.C., The Alley Theatre, The Old Globe, The Guthrie, The Goodman, The Hartford Stage, and Seattle Repertory Company. He designed six musicals in repertory for The Sondheim Celebration at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
He is a graduate of the drama program at East Carolina University, and attended Summer Session at UNCSA.
University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the
first state-supported, residential school of its kind in
the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of
the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA
opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and
Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University
of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100
students from high school through graduate school train
for careers in the arts in five professional schools:
Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts
Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the
state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated
entirely to the professional training of talented
students in the performing, visual and moving image
arts. For more information, visit