Dan Wooller

Remembering Howell Binkley

Last night, we heard the sad news that award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley has died following a battle with cancer. Howell was one of the most prominent lighting designers on Broadway and in the West End, with recent credits including Come from Away along with Hamilton for which he won a Tony, WhatsOnStage and Olivier Award.

Born in Winston-Salem, USA, Howell attended East Carolina University where he first started lighting dance shows. Shortly after, he moved to New York and in 1985, founded the Parsons Dance Company alongside David Parsons, a modern company that has toured all over the world. Howard went on to make his Broadway debut as the lighting designer for Kiss of a Spider-Woman in 1993, for which he earned his first every Tony nomination. It was also a show which would see him win his first ever Olivier Award following its West End run at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Soon after, he was lighting shows across the globe and became one of the industry’s most sought-after lighting designers.

Howell’s credits are prolific, having light such iconic shows as the original Broadway and West End runs of Jersey Boys (for which he won a Tony Award), Avenue Q, Parade, In the Heights and The Full Monty. In total, he designed 52 shows on Broadway and was nominated for a Tony Award nine times. In addition to his work in NYC, Howell worked across America, including national tours of Applause in 1996; tick, tick…BOOM! in 2003; and Flashdance in 2012.

WL’s Managing Director Bryan Raven comments: “Much like the rest of the industry, we are incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Howell. As a company, we were fortunate enough to work with him on several occasions and he was a genuinely lovely person as well as an unbelievable talent. His credits speak for themselves and his work has inspired an entire generation of lighting designers. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts go to his wife Joyce, his family and his friends during this time.”