Q&A with Tony Nominated Lighting Designer Allen Lee Hughes

Q&A with Ohio State Murders Tony nominated lighting designer

By Maia Glasman

We did a Q&A with Ohio State Murders Tony nominated lighting designer, Allen Lee Hughes (four times for K2, Strange Interlude, Once on This Island, A Soldier’s Play) and here’s what he has in store for us.

Q: What drew you to this play?

A: I was drawn to the play by the great director Kenny Leon.  I did not know the play.  Now that I know it, I can see why it is so respected. I have also admired Audra McDonald’s work and I’m looking forward to lighting her. 

Q: What is your process like?  

A: Of course, I read the script two or three times.  I do a scene breakdown and meet with the director. Usually the light plot (drawing of where to place the lights) is due around or before first rehearsal.  I have to take an educated guess about what I will need when we go into technical rehearsals. I then attend rehearsals, where I get a sense of what the show really needs.  

Q: Who in the theater world has been an inspiration to you? 

A: Lighting Designers; Jennifer Tipton, Tharon Musser, Arden Fingerhut.  Notice that I picked all women.

Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in the Theater District? 

A: It used to be a Sushi place on 45 or 46th and 8th avenue.  Alas, they did not survive the pandemic.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not at the theater?  

A: I like to hang out and eat with friends and watch the news.

Q: What other projects are you working on this season? 

A: I designed the lighting for Topdog/Underdog and later I will design the tour for A Soldier’s Play the tour.

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