Tony-Winner Clint Ramos: Strange Art Makes Us Better People

How a Tony-winning costume designer confronts audiences with the odd and unexpected.

Costume and set designer Clint Ramos. Photo: Dimitrious Kambouris.

Today on The Scene, I’m joined by Clint Ramos, acclaimed costume and set designer. In his prolific career, Ramos has designed more than a hundred shows on Broadway and beyond; he became the first person of color to win the Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play, for Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed, in 2016.

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In our conversation today, we talk about his costume design for the Broadway revival of Once On this Island. Inspired by images of Haiti after recent hurricanes, Ramos’ designs elevate mundane materials like mosquito netting, discarded flowers and USB cables into a wardrobe for the gods. We also consider the crucial but sometimes overlooked role of costumes in shaping the meaning of a story, and why it’s healthy for us to see art that confronts us with the bizarre, odd and unexpected.


Once on this Island
Ramos’ costume design for “Once on this Island.” Photo: Joan Marcus.

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