Guthrie Theater alum makes history as first Black male Oscar nominee for costume design

Guthrie Theatre alumnus Paul Tazewell created record as the initial Black male Oscar nominee for costume design.

“It’s excellent. I am beside myself. I in no way imagined that I would be in this placement,” Tazewell stated.

Tazewell’s abilities are now on center stage and he calls it “a aspiration.”

His historic Oscar nomination stems from his costume style perform in “West Aspect Story.”

“I enjoy what I do. I’m quite passionate about costume structure and the job that it plays in telling stories,” Tazewell claimed.

His story began 30 years back coming up with generally for theatre.

In 2016, he introduced property a Tony Award for his finest costume structure for “Hamilton.”

Then, he took a shot at television and marched into movie.

The changeover was seamless.

A single of the stops on his journey was in Minneapolis. “Some of my most interesting do the job has occurred at the Guthrie Theater,” Tazewell explained.

He brought his sketches and styles to lifetime in the costume shop with a staff of creative minds for every generation.

“It presented a creative room and a stellar employees of artisans, drapers and tailors,” he stated. “I have always cherished doing the job there. I have often beloved the local community and the theatre local community.”

Tazewell utilised colors and cloth to tell stories in more than a dozen demonstrates at the Guthrie Theater beginning in 1995.

His expertise and kind spirit remaining a mark on each and every exhibit.

“It was always a person of the smoothest and simplest activities that I experienced with a costume designer since of his stage of expertise and also his amount of kindness,” Amy Schmidt, Guthrie Theater costume director, reported.

Schmidt witnessed Tazewell’s sketches dance off the website page in productions like “Hamlet,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Merchant of Venice,” to title a number of. 

“I assume he’s a single of the designers that our people in the shop just appreciate to hear they ended up heading to get to do the job with,” Schmidt explained.

Tazewell mentioned his career journey has been a rollercoaster, but he stated inspiring other individuals keeps him grounded.

“That’s what I selected to be about, obtaining my perform make a variance in other people’s life or what may contact their coronary heart,” he mentioned.

Though breaking barriers, Tazewell is also focused on building the costume structure discipline more varied.

“When I initial began out, I could rely on my one particular hand the variety of Black and brown costume designers that I essentially fulfilled and worked with,” Tazewell explained.

But now, moments are altering. Tazewell discussed he’s concentrated on inspiring the following era of costume designers of shade.

“That is why I’m on earth to be that type of inspiration,” Tazewell explained.