Courtly Southerner William Ivey Long - five-time Tony Award winner for costume design and the recently appointed Chair of The American Theatre Wing - visits THEATER TALK for an exclusive interview premiering at 1 a.m. on Friday, January 18 (2013; early Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, followed in New York City on CUNY TV* Saturday at 8:30 PM, Sunday at 12:30 PM, and Monday at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM. THEATER TALK is co-hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and executive producer Susan Haskins. Following its initial broadcast, the William Ivey Long interview may be viewed online at http://www.cuny.tv/show/theatertalk/PR2001545.
A graduate of the Yale School of Drama in 1974, Ivey Long moved to New York's Chelsea Hotel intending to apprentice under Charles James, the celebrated couturier - and a resident of the Hotel. "I stalked him for six months," Long says, finally getting to work with James for four years until his death in 1978. That same year, Long deviated from his career in fashion to do costumes for a Broadway production of The Inspector General. It was a great success and since then he has done the costumes for over 50 Broadway shows.
During the interview, Long talks about creating some of his most celebrated designs, including those for Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Siegfried & Roy at the The Mirage Resort and Casino, the current The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and his upcoming project, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Costumes, he tells us, provide "raiment" to "help people become somebody else," and get into the minds and worlds of the characters. To an outsider, his work seems fun, but Ivey Long offers a corrective - "Fun is when the show is open and you're doing the London production."
Ivey Long also talks about the American Theatre Wing's portfolio of activities with students and young theatre professionals, its co-administration of the Antoinette Perry (Tony) and National Theatre Awards, and many other ventures including preliminary ideas for a Stage Door Canteen in Times Square.
THEATER TALK is the weekly series dedicated to the world of the stage. The program is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. It is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 60+ participating public television markets nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The TDF/TAP Plus Program, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK.
*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is carried in New York City's five boroughs - on Channel 75 on Time Warner and Cablevision, Channel 77 on RCN, and Channel 30 on Verizon FiOS.