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Costume Design – Telling the Story and Creating the Character

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The Apollo’s Career Panel series provides a behind-the-scenes look at lesser-known careers in arts and entertainment and shines a spotlight on people of color working in creative industries. Part panel discussion, part live demonstration, these informative events provide tangible takeaways and insightful resources to empower the next generation of creative minds in these fields.

Costume designers play an essential role in bringing memorable characters to life, communicating a personality or a moment in time or space through the garments they create to help magically transform actors into people far removed from themselves. Learn more about this pivotal component of storytelling on stage and on screen from innovative voices in the field. Participants include Tony and Emmy-Award winning, Oscar-nominated, costume designer Paul Tazewell, who has worked on a variety of projects for theater, dance, opera, television and film including Hamilton, The Wiz Live! and West Side Story.

Leadership support for the Apollo Education Programs is provided by BNY Mellon, Fund II, the Hearst Foundations, the Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, The Pinkerton Foundation, and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with New York Council Members Ben Kallos and Bill Perkins.

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Panelists

Portrait Big smile Christelle

Christelle Matou

Christelle Matou

PANELIST

Christelle Matou is a Parisian native with roots from the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Christelle is based in NYC where she earned a Master of Fine Arts for Stage and Film from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. As a Production Designer, she worked on The Spike Lee Production Fund Grant critically acclaimed short films Cracked directed by Lin Que Ayoung and The Island directed by Aimee Schaefer. Christelle Matou’s film credits as Production Designer include : The Couple Next Door, A Mutual Understanding, The Mailbox, Nowhere, and LP, Music Video Black Girl Magic, and streaming series pilot B-Sides. Christelle’s most recent work includes her production design on the narrative feature What We Do Next directed by Stephen Belber.

Christelle’s Film credits as Costume Designer include A Lullaby To Love, The Couple Next Door, The Mailbox, LP,  Confidence, Splashes of Dye, and Kashmir. Christelle just as passionately designs costumes for Stage (Opera, Theatre, Concerts and Dance productions). She most recently designed costumes for The 2021 Glimmerglass Festival’s productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and Offenbach’s Songbird (La Périchole).

Website: https://www.christellematou.com/

Paul Tazewell

Paul Tazewell

Paul Tazewell

PANELIST

Paul Tazewell has been designing costumes for Broadway, Regional Theater, Film and Television, Dance, and Opera Productions for close to thirty years. He began his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical, ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, directed by George C. Wolfe. Most recently, Paul is known for his work with both of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award winning, Original Broadway productions of Hamilton and In the Heights. Other Broadway credits include 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 the United States and across the globe, Paul has designed for such renowned companies 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’s Feature Film credits include; Harriet for Focus Features, Hamilton for Disney+ and West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg. TV credits include the HBO Original Film; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks starring Oprah Winfrey, and both The Wiz! Live, and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for NBC.

In 2016, he received an Emmy Award for NBC’s The Wiz! Live, as well as a Tony Award for Hamilton.  Other notable honors include two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and The Princess Grace Statue Award. Paul holds a MFA from New York University and a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts.  He has been privileged instructing 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 lives in New York City.

Website: https://www.paultazewelldesign.com/

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith

HOST

Malcolm Smith is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. He is an alumnus of The City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned his degree in Advertising and Public Relations, with a double minor in Theater and Journalism. While attending CCNY, Smith worked at the Apollo Theater as a Young Producer, a program for Apollo Theater Academy alumni where he created and developed events to connect young artists to the theater. In 2015 Smith co-founded the production company Lenox Letters. Their most recent project is a comedic web series, created by Smith, titled Butch Queen Energy which is currently streaming on Youtube.