USITT, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, the association of design, production, and technology professionals in the performing arts and entertainment industry, has published The Designs Of Willa Kim, the first in a series of monographs on American theatre designers.
Willa Kim is one of America’s most distinguished costume designers, with six Tony Award nominations and two Tony Awards: Sophisticated Ladies in 1981 and The Will Rogers Follies in 1991. Her other awards include two Emmy Awards, an Obie Award, two Drama Desk Awards, the Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award, 1999, the Patricia Zipprodt Award for Innovative Costume Design, 2003, and the USITT Distinguished Achievement in Costume Design Award, 2005.
The Designs Of Willa Kim,, published in March, 2005, was written by Bobbi Owen, professor of dramatic art at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of four other books and dozens of articles about theatrical designers.
The book starts with Kim’s early years assisting Raoul Pène du Bois on some of the great Broadway musicals of the 1950s including Wonderful Town, Bells Are Ringing, The Music Man, and Gypsy, and follows her career as a designer of costumes for Broadway musicals, and plays, operas, and dance. She is perhaps best known for her marvelous designs for dance (especially with two choreographers, Robert Joffrey and Eliot Feld) and dance-based musicals (including Legs Diamond and Goodtime Charlie). The book contains numerous illustrations, including many of her original designs for The Tempest (San Francisco Ballet), Medusa (Alvin Ailey), A Footstep of Air (Feld Ballet), and Dancin'.
The Designs Of Willa Kim, includes a list of the exhibits of her designs and costumes, a list of her awards and nominations, and a chronology of her major designs from 1961 to the present. The foreword is by Tony Walton who worked with Kim on Grease and many other Broadway productions and operas.
The lavishly illustrated book is currently available from the USITT web site, www.usitt.org/bookstore/go.php or by calling 800-93USITT.
"For so many of us in this challenging field, Willa Kim is not only an icon but the ultimate role model. A creature of limitless elegance and grace, who paints and draws like a dream and is a relentless and entirely admirable perfectionist."---Tony Walton