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Having designed costumes for Broadway, regional theaters, film, and television for over three decades, PAUL TAZEWELL is one of the industry’s most revered designers. From his Academy Award®-nominated work in West Side Story to creating costumes for the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production of Hamilton, his creations have captivated audiences across the globe.

Paul recently received a Tony Award® nomination for Best Costume Design for a Musical for his work in the Broadway production of Suffs as well as a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical. He is also a 2024 NAACP Theatre Award nominee for Best Costume Design for Ain’t Too Proud.


In 2016, he received an Emmy Award for NBC’s The Wiz! Live. Other screen credits include Harriet (Focus Features), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO), and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (NBC). On Thanksgiving 2024, the highly anticipated Wicked film, featuring Paul's designs, will be released, showcasing the reimagined world created by Director John M. Chu and starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande. Other notable honors include two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards, a CDGA Award, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and The Princess Grace Statue Award.

Additionally, Paul’s costume designs can be seen in the Broadway musical Suffs by Shaina Taub and Death Becomes Her by Julia Mattison and Noel Carey, which opened in Chicago on April 30, 2024.


Paul has had the privilege to work with renowned companies such as The Metropolitan Opera, The Bolshoi Ballet, The English National Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, The Public Theater, The National Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and many more.

Paul began his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, directed by George C. Wolfe. Other Broadway credits include In the Heights; Ain’t Too Proud; The Color Purple; Dr Zhivago; Memphis; Caroline, or Change; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Russell 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 2021, Paul designed Fire Shut Up In My Bones, The Met's first performance of an opera by a Black composer, Terence Blanchard, and his adaptation of Charles M. Blow’s moving memoir.


Paul holds an MFA from New York University and a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts. He has been privileged to instruct students as a guest artist at both New York University and North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2003-2006, he held a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University.

He currently resides in New York City.


A merit-based scholarship established by Paul for undergraduate students of color in the School of Design and Production at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1986. 


With this gift, Paul "hopes to inspire emerging artists of color to follow their dreams and become the next generation of creative innovators."

Acceptance Speech: Paul Tazewell (2016)
The Tony Awards
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