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Costume Designer 

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, REGGIE RAY received his education from Virginia Marti School of Fashion Design, the Cleveland Institute of Arts, and the University Without Walls Program at Howard University. During his education, Ray’s emphasis was placed on pattern drafting, cutting, draping, tailoring, collections, fashion merchandising, and fashion illustration. Prior to beginning his career in theatre, he spent two years designing men’s, women’s, and children’s sportswear for the Florida Garment District.

Ray has had the honor and pleasure of serving as an apprentice to costume designers Quay Truitt Barnes at Karamu Theatre House, Louis D. Rampino at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, and Estelle Painter at the Cleveland Playhouse. Ray then went on to become the Resident Costume Designer at the Karamu Theatre House designing such shows as Medea, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Dreamgirls. It was during this time that Ray received the prestigious Cleveland Critic’s Award for Most Outstanding Costumes for Taming of the Shrew and The Wiz.

Artistic Directors and Directors Ray has designed for include Debbie Allen, Keith Alan Baker, Tim Bond, Kenneth Daugherty, George Faison, Al Freeman, Jr., Andrea Frye, Derek Gordon, Ron Himes, Regina Taylor, Thomas Jones, Vera J. Katz, Mike Malone, M.J. Munafo, Erie McClintock, Regina McConnell, Dianne McIntyre, Jennifer Nelson, Marsha Randolph-Jackson, LaVerne Reed, Joe Walker, Ali Woods, and Joy Zinoman. Moreover, his costumes have graced the stages of the Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Studio Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Everyman Theatre, Second Stage, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Mount Clair Repertory Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, Source Theatre, Vineyard Playhouse, Rutgers University, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Lincoln Theatre, Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center, National Black Theatre Festival, and Barksdale Theatre.

Audiences have been amazed at his magnificent and creative designs for Crowns, Flyin’ West, Raisin in the Sun, Ella and Her Fella Frank, Two Queens, One Castle, Gospel at Colonus, Two Trains Running, Five Guys Named Moe, The Old Settler, The Peugeot’s “Star Show” I Monte Carlo ’95, Capote at Yaddo, Oak and Ivy, Carmen Jones, Heliotrope Bouquet, Once on this Island, Sankofa, Rhinoceros, Heaven and the Homeboy, Brothers of the Knight, Blues for an Alabama Sky, A View from the Bridge and Jelly’s Last Jam, just to name a few.

Celebrity clients include Diahann Carroll, Maya Angelou, Jennifer Holliday, Richard Roundtree, Karen Clark, Regina Belle, Alyson Williams, Christopher Williams, TC Carson, Allen Payne, Tony Terry and many others.

Theatre critics have recognized Ray’s designs as he was nominated and received seven Woodie King Awards for Outstanding Costume Design (The Colored Museum, Blues in the Night, Urban Transition/Loose Blossoms, Screened in Porch, and The Wiz). In addition, he was nominated for four Helen Hayes Awards for Most Outstanding Costume (Spunk, God’s Trombones, Black Nativity, The Old Settler) and received one for Spunk.

Ray is honored to say that he has functioned in the role of Assistant to the Costume Designer for the late Judy Dearing for three years. Currently, he is serving as the Resident Costume Designer for the St. Louis Black Repertory Company as well as Resident Costume Designer and Instructor of Costume Design/Make-up for Howard University’s Department of Theatre Arts. Mr. Ray is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829/International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees [USA/IATSE].


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