Henry Fonte was born on May 15, 1950, in Havana, Cuba. He emigrated to the United States in 1961 with his family, settling in Miami. He graduated from Miami Senior High. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, having received both his B.A. in English and Dramatic Literature in 1973 and his M.A.T. in Theatre and Acting-Directing in 1976 from this institution. Fonte has several acting credits to his name, including the roles of Oberon and Theseus in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1976) at The Hippodrome Theatre), various roles in Romeo and Juliet in various theatres including the Shakespeare Festival in Washington, DCwhere he also apprenticed at both The Folger Theatre and Arena Stage reciving his Actors Equity Card at the latter.
In 1983 he made his directing debut as a founding member of the Pearl Theatre Company in New York. He directed various New York and world premieres as the resident director of The Village Theatre Company. In 1992 he was the recipient of the Corbin Patrick award for the Best Direction of a Musical , Kiss Me Kate, which starred Judy Kaye and Sally Mayes at Indianapolis Starlight.
In 1998 Fonte joined the faculty of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford as an acting teacher, where he would remain over the course of the next twelve years. In his first year at Hartt, he founded its New Play Development Program, where he directed, wrote, produced or sarved as dramaturge for twelve new plays and fourteen new musicals. From 1998 to 2004 he was an Associate Professor of Theatre, and from 2004 to 2010 he was a Professor of Theatre. He received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the university in 2002.
Upon his move to Miami, he established a coproducing partnership with the Adrianne Arsht Center, the largest professional venue in Miami, where the UM Department of Theatre majors interact with established artists in professional productions.
Fonte has written plays, among then EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, which has been developed at various theatres across the country; and he has also written and theatrical adaptations including Chekhov’s farces. Among his other publications is Cinderella: The True Story (2000), which he co-authored with Victoria Halloway and Lee Ahlin.
Mr. Fonte serves on theBoard of Directors of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). He is currently Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Miami, as well as the Producing Artistic Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, positions he has held since 2010.