Henry Hewes (April 9, 1917 – July 18, 2006) was the drama critic for the Saturday Review weekly literary magazine from 1955 to 1979. He was the first major critic to regularly review regional and international theater. His interest in regional theater led him to found the American Theater Critics Association, the Tony Award for regional theater, and the American Theater Wing's design awards, now called the Hewes Awards. In 2002, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
Early life and education
Hewes was born to a socially prominent family in Boston, Henry and Margaret Hewes. His mother was a theater producer. As a child, he became attracted to theater at age 10. He started pre-med studies at Harvard University, but World War II interrupted.
Marriage and family
Hewes married Jane Fowle, with whom he had three sons: Henry, Tucker, and Havelock.
Hewes went to New York, where his first job in theatre journalism was working as a copy boy at the New York Times. Encouraged by the critic Brooks Atkinson, he began writing arts profiles for the Sunday Magazine section.
He moved to the weekly Saturday Review, a literary magazine, where he wrote as second critic to John Mason Brown. At the age of 38 in 1955, Hewes was made the primary drama critic. He held that position until 1976 and was known for championing new playwrights and their works. He was also known for being the first major critic to cover regional and international theater as much as that in New York productions. In addition to his weekly articles, he edited the Best Plays annual anthology from 1960-1964, helping bring attention to new work and playwrights.
In 1974, Hewes established the American Theater Critics Association, in part because of his interest in regional theater. He also contributed to founding the Tony Award for regional theater and the American Theater Wing's design awards, now called the Henry Hewes Design Award.
- 1960-1964, he was editor of the Best Plays annual anthology
Legacy and honors
- Elected President of the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama Desk
- 2002, Hewes was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
- "Henry Hewes Obituary", New York Times, accessed 14 Nov 2010
- Richard Ridge, "The Theatre Hall of Fame Awards", Broadway Beat
- "Henry Hewes", New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors]
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