Jeff Hendry, Professor of Performing Arts and Costume Designer, came to Rockford in the fall of 1982. Originally from Arizona, where he received a bachelor of fine arts in theatre production from the University of Arizona, he moved to the east coast to study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and received his master of fine arts in costume design.
Throughout his career, Hendry has worked at a variety of regional theatres on both coasts including the Old Globe Theatre, Champlain Shakespeare Festival, Tennessee Williams Arts Center, and New London Barn Playhouse. Here at Rockford University, besides teaching the courses in costume design and designing costumes for all the mainstage productions, he teaches in the musical theater program in addition to teaching a variety of other courses such as Introduction to Theatre, Performing Arts Seminar and Senior Seminar, as well as directing a production each year. Some of the favorite productions which he has directed include, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pericles, Rashomon, A Little Night Music, Phantom and Angels in America Part 1.
Besides his costuming work at the university, Hendry has designed for the University of Wisconsin at both Stevens Point and Madison where he collaborated with nationally syndicated cartoonist Nicole Hollander on a musical version of her comic strip Sylvia’s Real Good Advice. Regionally, Hendry has designed costumes for the Fireside Theatre, Circa’ 21 Dinner Playhouse and Little Theatre on the Square, (where he received a Herald Award for his designs for Babes in Arms). In the Chicago area, his designs have appeared on the stages of Northlight Theater (Everything’s Ducky, It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues- with Broadway director Randal Mlyer), Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (The Little Mermaid), Theatre at the Center (Gypsy, Grand Hotel), Drury Lane Water Tower Place (Grand Hotel), and Drury Lane Evergreen Park, where he designed 29 productions including; Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Sophisticated Ladies, Phantom and West Side Story and received two prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award nominations, (Chicago’s Tony Award) for his designs for Jerry’s Girls and Singin’ in the Rain.
Summer 2015, Maine State Music Theatre, A conversation with costume designer Jeff Hendry
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