Hewes, Henry 1917-2006

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Hewes, Henry 1917-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born April 9, 1917, in Boston, MA; died July 18, 2006, in New York, NY. Critic and author. Hewes was a former theater critic for the Saturday Review and founder of the American Theater Critics Association. After he attended Harvard and the Carnegie Institute of Technology, his studies were interrupted by war. He served in the U.S. Air Force for the duration of World War II, then returned to university. Originally, Hewes intended to become a physician, but he switched to theater and completed a bachelor's degree in the subject at Columbia University in 1949. After working in entrylevel jobs for the New York Times, Hewes was hired as a drama editor in 1952 at the Saturday Review. He worked under critic James Mason Brown, replacing him as chief critic in 1955. Hewes reviewed plays there until 1973, notably paying as much attention to regional productions as to Broadway and Off- Broadway shows. In his later career, he was drama critic for Saturday Review/World until 1977, and critic-at-large thereafter. He was also drama critic for the International Theatre Yearbook from 1978 to 1980. Hewes's interest in regional theater led him to establish the American Theater Critics Association in 1974, and he urged the creation of a regional theater category for the Antoinette Perry Awards, which eventually came to fruition. Also a former president of the Drama Desk and the Drama Critics Circle, Hewes was respected by colleagues and playwrights alike, and was once credited with encouraging Tennessee Williams to complete his play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Getting into the act himself, Hewes adapted several plays in the 1950s and directed as well. Among his adaptations was the Tennessee Williams play Three Players of a Summer Game and Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. A moderator for the American Theatre Wing TV Seminars from 1976 to 1984, he also edited the play collections Famous Plays of the 1940's (1959), Famous American Plays of the 1940's (1967), and three editions of The Best Plays. Hewes was honored for his commitment to the theater when the American Theater Wing named their design award after him.



Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2006, p. B11.

New York Times, July 20, 2006, p. A19.

Washington Post, July 23, 2006, p. C8.