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OU School of Drama alumnus continues 'thirst for knowledge' as 'Chicken and Biscuits' head lighting designer

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adam honore

A headshot of Adam Honoré, an OU alumnus, from a press release provided to The OU Daily.

An alumnus of the OU Peggy V. Helmerich School of Drama Class of 2015 has been working on a Broadway show in the earlier part of this year.

Originally from New Orleans, Adam Honoré is a lighting designer who now lives in and works from Harlem. He is currently working as a lighting designer for the Broadway performance of the comedy "Chicken and Biscuits."

Jon Young, professor of scenic design at the university, said OU has “a lot of alums that work in the industry,  so as (graduating students) begin to prepare to go out into the industry, we work hard to put them in touch with the alumni who can help them make that transition.”

This was the case for Honoré himself, who was hired by an alumnus, and “the week after he graduated OU, (he) was traveling to New York,” Young said. 

Honoré’s latest design enters a more highly esteemed realm of the industry than anything he has done before and makes history for graduates of OU’s Lighting Design program. According to a press release, Honoré is the first alumnus to be the head lighting designer of a Broadway show.

The show, "Chicken and Biscuits," is written by Douglas Lyons and directed by Zhailon Levingston. "Chicken and Biscuits" was an off-Broadway show before the pandemic. However, “it gained steam” during the pandemic and is now being performed at the Circle in the Square theatre, Young said. 

It features Tony Award-nominee Norm Lewis as well as Drama Desk Award- winner Michael Urie. In a press release, Honoré said the audience can “expect to see transformation, a story we are all familiar with in a new light.” "Chicken and Biscuits" opened September 23 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, and more information can be found on the show’s website.

Honoré has designed for shows that have been seen all over the United States, including the off-Broadway show "Carmen Jones," directed by John Doyle, as well as in Austria, Canada and the Philippines, where he designed the lighting for "Fun Home," featuring Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga.

“(His work) is beautiful,” Young said. “Adam has an innate ability just to capture moments onstage and really understand the warmth in a room. ... When you look at his work, you truly understand what is happening in the moment.”

Honoré has received the Audience Development Committee, Inc award, has been listed on Live Design Magazine’s "30 Under 30," and has been nominated for a Drama Desk award, a Henry Hewes award, and a Helen Hayes award, according to a press release.

Young said students like Honoré have a “thirst for knowledge and experience” while they are in school.

”They often are very unrelenting … not just in the classroom, but (also) in their production experiences.” Young said. “(They) work day in, day out to take advantage of the opportunities. That’s something they have to do once they transition into the industry...they have to work day in, day out to find opportunities, find collaborators, find projects that will propel them into their careers.”

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