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Dede Ayite Becomes First Black Woman to Receive Tony Award for Costume Design Category

Dede Ayite Becomes First Black Woman to Receive Tony Award for Costume Design Category 

Dede Ayite

Dede Ayite has become the first black woman to win a Tony for best costume design of a play at the 2024 Tony Awards.

The 77th Tony Awards were presented to honour excellence in Broadway productions for the 2023–2024 season. The event was broadcast on CBS and took place at New York City’s David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Centre. This year’s host was none other than Ariana DeBose.

She was awarded for her creation of Jaja’s African Hair Braiding outfit. Ayite thanked her family, notably her Ghanaian brother, her partners, Bioh for composing a wonderful work, and costume shops and makers for their support. She was nominated for best costume design for Hell’s Kitchen and Appropriate. She conveyed her appreciation for the wonderful show appearance and the roles these people played in her success.

Dede Ayite is a costume designer whose Broadway credits include A Soldier’s Play, Slave Play, American Son, and Children of a Lesser God. Select Off-Broadway credits include Secret Life of Bees, FireFlies, Marie and Rosetta, Tell Hector I Miss Him, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, JHAT (Signature), BLKS, Collective Rage, School Girls (MCC), Slave Play (NYTW), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), If Pretty Hurts, Mankind, Bella: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons), The Royale (Lincoln Centre), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout), and Brownsville song (LCT3).

Regionally, Ayite’s creations have been presented by the following theatres: Steppenwolf, American Repertory Theatre, Denver Centre; California Shakespeare, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Williamstown Theatre Festival; Baltimore Centre Stage, Arena Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Signature Theatre, and McCarter Theatre, Hartford Stage.

She has experience working on television shows for FOX Shortcoms, Comedy Central, and Netflix. Ayite graduated with an MFA from Yale School of Drama. She has been nominated for four Drama Desk Awards: an Obie, a Lucille Lortel, a Helen Hayes, and a Jeff Award.

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