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Ken Billington

Birth Place: White Plains, NY, USA

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Ken Billington BIO

Ken Billington is a highly acclaimed lighting designer with over 50 years of experience in the theatre industry. Born in 1944 in Long Island, New York, Billington attended Hofstra University where he studied theatre and lighting design. After graduating, he began his career as a lighting designer in the Off-Broadway scene in the 1960s, eventually making his way to Broadway.
Billington has designed the lighting for over 100 Broadway productions, including the original productions of Sweeney Todd, Chicago, and The Drowsy Chaperone. He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design 21 times, winning three times for his work on The Elephant Man, Sweeney Todd, and Chicago.
In addition to his work on Broadway, Billington has designed the lighting for numerous productions in regional theatres across the United States and internationally. He has also worked extensively in opera, designing the lighting for productions at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Paris Opera.
Billington’s work has also been featured in film and television. He designed the lighting for the 1978 film version of The Wiz, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, as well as the lighting for the 1982 television production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.
Despite his extensive career, Billington remains humble and dedicated to his craft.
Billington’s impact on the theatre world extends beyond his own work as a designer. He has been an advocate for the use of energy-efficient lighting in the theatre industry and has worked to educate others on the importance of sustainability in theatrical design. He has also been a mentor to many young lighting designers, including Tony Award winner Natasha Katz.
In recognition of his contributions to the theatre industry, Billington was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2017. He joins an esteemed group of theatre professionals, including actors, directors, and designers, who have made significant contributions to the American theatre.
Billington’s legacy as a lighting designer continues to inspire generations of theatre artists. His dedication to his craft, his commitment to sustainability, and his willingness to mentor others have made him a beloved figure in the theatre community. As he stated in his Tony Award acceptance speech for Chicago, “I’m just a lighting designer, but I’m very proud to be part of this community.”

Ken Billington Photos

Ken Billington Productions

 
[Off-Broadway, 2024]
Lighting Design
 
[West End, 2023]
Lighting Designer
 
[Broadway, 2023]
Lighting Design
 
[US Tour, 2022]
Lighting Designer
 
[Off-Broadway, 2022]
Lighting Designer
 
[US Tour, 2021] [Replacement]
Lighting Design[Replacement]
 
[Off-Broadway, 2020]
Lighting Design
 
[Broadway, 2019]
Lighting Designer
 
[Off-Broadway, 2019]
Lights
 
[West End, 2019]
Lighting Design
 
[Regional (US), 2018]
Lighting Designer
 
[Broadway, 2018]
Lighting Designer
 
[West End, 2018] [Replacement]
Lighting Designer[Replacement]
 
[Off-Broadway, 2017]
Lighting Designer
 
[US Tour, 2017]
Lighting Design
 
[Los Angeles, 2017]
Lighting Designer
 
[Regional (US), 2017]
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[Broadway, 2017]
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[US Tour, 2016]
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[Off-Broadway, 2016]
Lighting Design
 
[US Tour, 2015]
Lighting Designer
 
[Broadway, 2015]
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[US Tour, 2015]
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[Broadway, 2015]
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[West End, 2014]
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[US Tour, 2014]
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[Broadway, 2014]
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[Off-Broadway, 2013]
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[Broadway, 2012]
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[Broadway, 2011]
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[Broadway, 2010]
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[US Tour, 2010]
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[Broadway, 2008]
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[West End, 2008]
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[Broadway, 2008]
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[Boston, 2007]
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[US Tour, 2007]
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[West End, 2007]
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[Washington, DC (Regional), 2007]
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[Broadway, 2006]
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[New York, 2006]
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[Boston, 2005]
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[Los Angeles, 2005]
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[Off-Broadway, 2005]
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[Regional (US), 2005] Cancelled
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[San Francisco (Regional), 2004]
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[Arlington, VA (Regional), 2004]
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[Off-Broadway, 2003]
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[Off-Broadway, 2001]
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[Milburn, NJ (Regional), 2001]
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[Regional (US), 2000]
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[Broadway, 1999]
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[Broadway, 1998]
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[Off-Broadway, 1998]
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[West End, 1997]
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[Broadway, 1996]
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[Off-Broadway, 1995]
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[Off-Broadway, 1994]
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[Broadway, 1993]
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[Milburn, NJ (Regional), 1992]
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[Milburn, NJ (Regional), 1991]
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[Broadway, 1990]
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[Broadway, 1989]
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[Off-Broadway, 1988]
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[Broadway, 1987]
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[Off-Broadway, 1987]
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[Regional (US), 1986]
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[Broadway, 1986]
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[Off-Broadway, 1984]
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[Off-Broadway, 1982]
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[Broadway, 1980]
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[US Tour, 1980]
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[West End, 1980]
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[Broadway, 1980]
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[Off-Broadway, 1979]
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[Broadway, 1979]
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[Broadway, 1978]
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[Chicago, 1977]
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[Broadway, 1976]
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[US Tour, 1976]
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[Boston, 1976]
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[Broadway, 1975]
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[Off-Broadway, 1974]
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[Broadway, 1974]
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[Broadway, 1974]
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[Off-Broadway, 1974]
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[Broadway, 1973]
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[Broadway, 1973]
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[Broadway, 1973]
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[Off-Broadway, 1973]
Lighting Designer
 
[Off-Broadway, 1973]
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[Broadway, 1972]
Lighting Supervisor
 
[Off-Broadway, 1971]
Lighting Designer
 
[Broadway, 1970]
Assistant to Miss Musser
 
[Broadway, 1970]
Assistant to Mr. Musser
 
[Off-Broadway, 1969]
Lighting Designer
 
[Broadway, 1967]
Assistant to Miss Musser
 
[Broadway, 0]
Lighting Designer

Ken Billington Awards and Nominations

Drama Desk Awards - 2023 - Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, New York, New York

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2023 - Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)

Ken Billington, New York, New York

Tony Awards - 2023 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, New York, New York

Drama Desk Awards - 2013 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Chaplin: The Musical

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2013 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Chaplin: The Musical

Tony Awards - 2011 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, The Scottsboro Boys

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2010 - Sondheim on Sondheim

Ken Billington , Sondheim on Sondheim

Drama Desk Awards - 2008 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park with George


winner
Outer Critics Circle Awards - 2008 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park With George

Tony Awards - 2008 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park with George

Tony Awards - 2006 - Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Ken Billington, The Drowsy Chaperone


winner
Drama Desk Awards - 1997 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Chicago

Outer Critics Circle Awards - 1997 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Chicago


winner
Tony Awards - 1997 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Chicago

Drama Desk Awards - 1985 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Grind

Tony Awards - 1984 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, End of the World

Drama Desk Awards - 1983 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Foxfire

Tony Awards - 1983 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Foxfire

Drama Desk Awards - 1979 - Outstanding Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Sweeney Todd

Tony Awards - 1979 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Sweeney Todd

Tony Awards - 1978 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington, Working

Tony Awards - 1974 - Best Lighting Design

Ken Billington , The Visit

Ken Billington Videos

Ken Billington News


CHICAGO Comes to Canberra in September


The acclaimed production of one of Australia’s favourite musicals,CHICAGO, will open in Canberra in September this year, the first time a professional production of this Broadway favourite has played in Australia’s capital city. Presales begin today and general public tickets are on sale from Friday 19 April.

Video: Go Inside First Day Of Rehearsal For BEACHES THE MUSICAL at Theatre Calgary


Go inside the first day of rehearsal for Theatre Calgary's upcoming International Premiere of Beaches the Musical in this all-new video.

Full Cast and Creative Team Set for BEACHES at Theatre Calgary


Theatre Calgary has revealed the creative team and full cast for the upcoming International Premiere of Beaches the Musical. See who is starring and learn how to purchase tickets.

Photos: First Look at Robyn Hurder as Velma Kelly in Chicago


Get a first look at photos of Robyn Hurder as Velma Kelly in Chicago.

Video: First Look at Robyn Hurder as Velma in CHICAGO


Tony Award nominee Robyn Hurder has returned to Chicago on Broadway in the role of 'Velma Kelly'. Check out a video clip of her here!

Cynthia Erivo, Ruthie Ann Miles, and More Will Lead A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Concert at Lincoln Center


Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music In Concert, featuring brand new orchestrations by legendary orchestrator and lifelong Sondheim collaborator Jonathan Tunick, will play David Geffen Hall at New York City’s Lincoln Center this summer with a starry cast and we've got the scoop.

New Tickets On Sale For Sydney Season Of CHICAGO


Due to huge demand, additional performances have been released today for the upcoming Sydney season of CHICAGO. Tickets up to 21 July are on pre-sale from today, with General Public sales from Friday 22 March.

Photos: Inside Opening Night of IBSEN'S GHOST at 59E59's Theater A


Ibsen's Ghost is now playing at 59E59’s Theater A. The production officially opened last night, March 14 for a limited run through April 14. Check out opening night photos here!

Robyn Hurder to Return to CHICAGO as Velma This Month


Tony Award nominee Robyn Hurder will return to Chicago on Broadway in the role of “Velma Kelly” beginning Tuesday, March 26 through Sunday, June 16.

Interview: Red Concepcion Looks on 'Mr. Cellophane's' Bright Side


Red Concepcion, who just made his Broadway debut in “Chicago,” sprinkles a little sunshine in his character, Amos Hart, who’s often depicted as Roxie’s “scummy, crummy, dummy hubby.” In the show’s first few minutes, it’s made clear Roxie has been cheating on Amos, clinging to men who have promised her a shot at being a local celebrity.

Ariana Madix Out of CHICAGO February 27 Performance


TV personality, actress and author Ariana Madix will miss tonight's performance of Chicago.

Video: Red Concepción Performs 'Mister Cellophane' in CHICAGO on Broadway


You can see right through him, walk right by him, and never know he's there! Here's an exclusive video sneak peek of Red Concepción performing 'Mister Cellophane' in CHICAGO on Broadway.

A SIGN OF THE TIMES to Offer $19.65 Limited-Time In-Person Rush Tickets


Limited-time, in-person rush tickets are now available for A Sign of the Times. Learn how to purchase tickets.

Ariana Madix Extends Run in CHICAGO on Broadway Through Early April


TV personality, actress and author Ariana Madix will extend in her role as 'Roxie Hart' in Chicago on Broadway through April 7. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Cast Set for Charles Busch's IBSEN'S GHOST: AN IRRESPONSIBLE BIOGRAPHICAL FANTASY Off-Broadway


Ibsen's Ghost: An Irresponsible Biographical Fantasy, a new play written by and starring Charles Busch, will open at 59E59 Theaters. Learn more about the show and see how to purchase tickets.

New Tickets On Sale For CHICAGO in Melbourne and Sydney


Due to huge demand, new tickets have been released for the Melbourne and Sydney seasons of CHICAGO. Tickets are on pre-sale from today, with General Public sales from Friday 16 February.

CHICAGO Has Best Non-Holiday Performance Week In the Show's History


Chicago, Broadway’s longest running American Musical, had its highest grossing non-holiday performance week in the show’s 27-year history.

Video: Ariana Madix Takes Her First Bows in CHICAGO on Broadway


Reality TV star Ariana Madix, known for 'Vanderpump Rules', made her Broadway debut January 29, in the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago. Check out footage from her first curtain call in the video here!

Photos: Ariana Madix Takes Her First Bows in CHICAGO on Broadway


'Vanderpump Rules' star Ariana Madix made her Broadway debut January 29, in the role of Roxie Hart in Chicago. BroadwayWorld was there and you can check out photos from her first curtain call here!

2011 Tony Nominations Announced! THE BOOK OF MORMON Leads With 14!


Past Tony winners Anika Noni Rose and Matthew Broderick announced the 2011 Tony Awards nominees live from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Ken Billington FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What awards has Ken Billington been nominated for?

Ken Billington has been nominated for several awards for his outstanding lighting design work, including: - Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical (Drama Desk Awards) for New York, New York - Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for New York, New York - Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Tony Awards) for New York, New York - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Chaplin: The Musical - Outstanding Lighting Design (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for Chaplin: The Musical - Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Tony Awards) for The Scottsboro Boys - Sondheim on Sondheim (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for Sondheim on Sondheim - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Sunday in the Park with George - Outstanding Lighting Design (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for Sunday in the Park With George - Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Tony Awards) for Sunday in the Park with George - Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Tony Awards) for The Drowsy Chaperone - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Chicago - Best Lighting Design (Outer Critics Circle Awards) for Chicago - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for Chicago - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Grind - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for End of the World - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Foxfire - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for Foxfire - Outstanding Lighting Design (Drama Desk Awards) for Sweeney Todd - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for Sweeney Todd - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for Working - Best Lighting Design (Tony Awards) for The Visit.

What awards has Ken Billington won?

Ken Billington has won the following awards for his outstanding lighting design work: - Outer Critics Circle Awards for "Sunday in the Park With George" - Drama Desk Awards for "Chicago" - Tony Awards for "Chicago".

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