VCU Theatre associate professor and 2017 Lilly Award winner Toni-Leslie James has been nominated for a Tony Award (Best Costume Design in a Play) for her work on “Jitney.”
[James] had a specific vision in mind when designing the Seventies-styled costumes for the Broadway debut of Jitney. After all, she’d lived it. “In ’77, I was a sophomore in college,” she says with a laugh. “So everything about it was authentic to me.” And authenticity always takes center stage in an August Wilson play. His 1982 work Jitney is set in Pittsburgh, 1977, at an unlicensed taxi cab company (known as a jitney), where the drivers muddle through family tragedies. Toni-Leslie James grew up about an hour outside of Pittsburgh, and the Steel City’s Seventies stylings still shimmer in her memory.
Read more about Toni-Leslie James on page 13 in the Spring issue of Studio here.
The three-hour awards ceremony will be broadcast live June 11, 2017, on the CBS Television Network and CBS All Access from 8:00–11:00pm EST from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Feature image by Olivia Walthall (BFA ’16).