Toni-Leslie James has designed costumes nationally for every entertainment venue; feature film, television, opera, dance, industrials, regional theatre and Broadway. For Broadway she has designed Lucky Guy, The Scottsboro Boys, Finian’s Rainbow, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, King Hedley II, One Mo’ Time, The Wild Party, Marie Christine, Footloose, The Tempest, Twilight Los Angeles 1992, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches & Perestroika, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, and Jelly’s Last Jam. Off-Broadway she has designed multiple productions for The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Soho Rep, Lincoln Center Theatre, The New York Theatre Workshop, and over 15 productions for The NY City CenterEncores series. Regionally her work could be seen in productions for La Jolla Playhouse, Steppenwolf, Hartford Stage, The Long Wharf, Baltimore Center Stage, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Round House Theatre, Seattle Rep, The Shakespeare Theatre, Berkley Rep, The Alliance Theatre, Goodspeed Playhouse, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, ACT, a the UK, The Athens Greek Festival, and Radio Dansmark TV in Denmark. She was the head costume designer for Whoopi on NBC, and the CBS soap opera, As the Word Turns, as well as having designed two specials for WNET/nd Crossroads Theatre Co. Internationally she has designed for The Young Vic, The Royal Court Theater and The Chichester Theater Festival in 13’s Great Performances series. Her design work has been displayed in nine major museum and college exhibitions including a 2006 retrospective of her career at The American Museum of Natural History “Designing Woman: Inside The Life And Career of Costume Designer, Toni-Leslie James”, theLincoln Center Performing Arts Library 2008-2009 exhibition “Curtain Call: A Century of Designing Women“, and “More Life!: Angels in America at Twenty” at The Museum of Performance & Design in San Francisco, CA. in 2010-2011.
Ms. James has garnered a total of twenty-nine costume design nominations or awards for her contributions to various theatrical productions including a Tony Award nomination, three Drama Desk nominations, the Hewes Design Award and three additional Hewes nominations, four Audelco Award nominations, an N.A.A.C.P Image Award nomination, three Lucille Lortel nominations, The Helen Hayes Award nomination, The Denver Theatre Center Ovation Award nomination, The LA Drama-Logue Award, The FANY Award, The Connecticut Critics Circle Award, the Irene Sharaff Young Masters Award For Costume Design Excellence, the 2009 Obie Award for Sustained Costume Design Excellence, and the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival Outstanding Costume Designer of The Year Award.
Ms. James received her BFA from The Ohio State University.
Click here to access Toni-Leslie James’ online portfolio.