Theatre News: Award winning Lighting Designer Howell Binkley Has Died


Howell Binkley, a lighting designer for Hamilton, has died aged 64 following a battle with cancer.

For his lighting design on Hamilton, Binkley won a Tony Award, Olivier Award and a WhatsOnStage Award.

Amongst an extensive resume, Binkley’s other credits include Kiss of The Spider Woman (for which he won an Olivier Award), The Full Monty, the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story and Jersey Boys (winning a further Tony Award for the latter), as well as Come From Away, which recently won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical.

The award-winning lighting designer also collaborated with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on In the Heights, a film adaption of which has just been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Binkley had been suffering from a three-year battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind his wife, Joyce, who confirmed on Facebook that he died at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville last Friday.

Joyce said “[Howell] was not just a special spirit. He was adored by so many, and will be missed by all.”

Tributes to Binkley have been posted online from many within the theatre community, including Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr, creative director David Korins, musical theatre composer Jason Robert Brown and theatre actor Chad Kimball.

Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted “Howell. Thank you for Benny & Nina’s sunrise. Thank you for Hamilton’s hurricane & Burr’s self-made walls. Thank you for sculpting in light & elevating every moment you touched. Where will I hide now if not at your tech table? I miss your smile & kindness already. Rest easy pal.”

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