Tony Winner Paul Tazewell Is Commencement Speaker At The University Of North Carolina School Of The Arts

Tony Winner Paul Tazewell Is Commencement Speaker At The University Of North Carolina School Of The Arts

Costume designer Paul Tazewell, winner of a Tony Award and an Emmy Award, is Commencement Speaker at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The ceremony will take place at UNCSA's Stevens Center Stevens Center at 405 West Fourth St. in downtown Winston-Salem. It will be streamed live on the school's website.

"Paul went on from UNCSA to inspire and delight audiences across the world," said Chancellor Lindsay Bierman. "His storied career spans theater, television and movies, and we're thrilled to welcome him back as mentor and role model for our graduates."

Tazewell, who received a B.F.A. from the School of Design and Production (D&P) in 1986, won a Tony Award for costume design for the Broadway smash "Hamilton" and an Emmy Award for costume design for NBC's "The Wiz Live" in 2016. He has been nominated for five other Tony Awards. He has won two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards and many regional design honors. The Princess Grace Foundation named him a young artist of note in 1993, and in 2013 it honored him with its most coveted prize, the Princess Grace Statue Award.

Approximately 205 undergraduates are expected to receive Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, and 65 graduate students will receive Master of Fine Arts and Master of Music degrees and Professional Artist Certificates.

"We are thrilled to have Paul back on campus as Commencement Speaker," said D&P Dean Michael J. Kelley, who was a classmate of Tazewell's. "He's been back as a guest artist several times, and students have been enthralled. His experience and his wisdom about the arts and entertainment industry will resonate with artists across all disciplines."

Tazewell designed costumes for Jimmy Buffett's "Escape to Margaritaville" now playing at the Marquis Theatre and for NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert," which aired on Easter Sunday.

A costume he designed worn by Lin-Manuel Miranda in "Hamilton" went on display March 22 at the Smithsonian Institution's "Giving in America" exhibition.

He also designed the costumes for the HBO movie "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.

Originally from Akron, Ohio, Tazewell received an M.F.A. from New York University.

More about Paul Tazewell

Paul Tazewell has been designing costumes for Broadway and regional theater, film and television, dance, and opera productions for more than 25 years.

Starting his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical "Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk" directed by George C. Wolfe, he followed that with work on the original Broadway productions of "In the Heights," "The Color Purple," "Dr. Zhivago," "Memphis," "Caroline, or Change," "Elaine Stritch at Liberty," "Russel Simmons' Def Poetry Jam," "Lombardi," and "Magic/Bird." Revival work includes "Side Show," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Guys and Dolls," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "On the Town."

In the United States and across the world, Tazewell has designed for such renowned companies as the Metropolitan Opera, the Bolshoi Ballet, the English National Opera, Theatre Du Chatelet, The Public Theater, the National Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and many more.

Tazewell holds an M.F.A. from New York University and a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has instructed students as a guest artist at New York University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2003-2006, he held a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University.

He currently lives in New York City and works across the globe.

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