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Hedy Weiss biography

Updated: December 22, 2011 4:40PM

Hedy Weiss has been Theater and Dance Critic of the Chicago Sun-Times since 1984, reporting on local, national and international productions, as well as a wide range of other subjects including art and architecture, books, travel and international affairs.

Since 2002, she also has served as Theater and Dance Critic for "Chicago Tonight," the nightly news magazine on WTTW-Channel 11, Chicago's PBS station, and she has contributed frequently to radio programs on WGN and WBEZ radio. A Contributing Editor to Dance Magazine, Weiss' work also has appeared in the London Observer, the Boston Globe, the Lincoln Center Playbill, Pointe Magazine and many other publications. She has served on the Pulitzer Prize panel for Drama three times.

In 1997, during a sabbatical in Europe, Weiss covered news events in Serbia, Bosnia, Poland, Hungary, Germany and other parts of Eastern and Western Europe for the Sun-Times. ‘‘The New Europe,’’ her five-part series inspired by that year abroad, was nominated for several major awards.

In October 2010, Weiss received an award from the Arts and Business Council of Chicago citing her as one of the top 25 influential forces in the arts in Chicago, and for making "outstanding and lasting contributions to Chicago’s lively, diverse arts landscape."

In November 2011, she was presented with a Special Jeff Award in recognition of her contributions to Chicago theatre, where she has "consistently encouraged and supported young emerging theaters and artists, and has been a strong supporter of new works and new adaptations."

Weiss also serves as a moderator for the annual Michael Merritt Awards, a national award unique in its emphasis on excellence in both design and collaboration, that has been presented annually since 1994 to outstanding professional theatrical designers.

Born in New York, Weiss graduated from Hunter College with a degree in English literature and art history, and early on pursued a career as a dancer and choreographer, with professional training at the Metropolitan Opera and Joffrey Ballet Schools. She moved to Chicago in 1980 and worked for four years as an assistant professor at the Theatre School of DePaul University before turning to full-time journalism.

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