A Theatre of Color

Costume Design for the Black Theatre by Myrna Colley-Lee

Myrna Colley-Lee          

Costume Designer, Art Director, Set Designer

Myrna Colley-Lee was born in Hamlett, North Carolina.  She completed her BFA in art educaion from the Women's College of the University of North Carolina and studied scene painting and properties at Brooklyn College, NY.   In 1980 she received her MFA in scenic and costume design from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Colley-Lee's most recent costume design work was featured in the productions of Race, and Fall of Heaven,  both at the St. Louis Repertory Theater, Radio Golf at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre,  Two Trains Running at the GeVa Theater in Rochester,  Relativity at the Black Rep, St. Louis, MO, The Piano Lesson and Forest City at the Cleveland Playhouse, Ohio, and The Wedding Band for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. IL.  An upcoming project is Good People at the St. Louis Repertory Theater in early 2013.

Other credis include the CableACE Award-winning video production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, the world premiere of the opera X:The Life and Times of Malcolm X performed at he Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and Mothers, commissioned by Bill Cosby and performed at Crossroads heatre Company, New Brunswick, NJ.

In addition to her design work, Colley-Lee serves as a commissioner for the Mississippi Arts Commission and is on several boards, including the Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort, Inc, and the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi. 

A list of her costume design credits includes: 

2013     GOOD PEOPLE, by David Lindsay-Abtaire
St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Dir. Seth Gordon

2012     RACE, by David Mamet
St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Dir. Timothy Near

2011     FALL OF HEAVEN, by Waler Mosley
St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Dir. Seth Gordon

2010     TWO TRAINS RUNNING, by August Wilson
GeVa Theater, Rochester, Dir. Ron O.J. Parson

2008     RADIO GOLF, by August Wilson
Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Dir. Ron O.J. Parson

Some of the crew members for Radio Golf, center Myrna Colley-Lee, right Jack Magaw (set designer)

2008     THE BALLAD OF EMMETT TILL, by Ifa Bayeza
The Goodman Theater, Dir. Oz Scott

2007      TILL (workshop)
by Ifa Bayeeza Rites & Reason Theatre, Brown University,  Dir. Elmo Terry Morgan

2007     GEE'S BEND by E#lizabeth Gregory Wilder
Cleveland Playhouse, nDir. Shirley Jo Finney

2007     AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ by Fats Waller
The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater Dir. Ron Himes

2006      BECOMING ADELE by Eric Houston
The Harold Clurman Theatre, Gotham Stage Productions  Dir. Victor Maog

2006      RELATIVITY  by Cassandra Medley
The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater  Dir. Ron Himes

2005      THE PIANO LESSON  by August Wilson
The Cleveland Playhouse  Dir. Hans Hunziker

2003      FOREST CITY by Bridgette A. Wimberly
The Cleveland Playhouse   Dir. Seth Gordon

2003      THE WEDDING BAND by Alice Childress
Steppenwolf Theatre  Dir. Ron O.J. Parson


Crew for Crumbs from the Table of Joy, 2002

2002      THE SECRET GARDEN Mississippi Summer Arts Institute
by Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon
Bologna Performing Arts Center
Dir. Victor Maog Delta State University

2002     THE AMEN CORNER  by James Baldwin
The Cleveland Playhouse  Dir. Chuck Patterson
1996 - Crossroads Theatre Company  Dir. Ricardo Khan

2002      CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY  by Lynn Nottage
TheatreVirginia   Dir. Benny Sato Ambush
1998   Crossroads Theatre Company  Dir. Shirley Jo Finney

2000      THE OLD SETTLER  by John Henry Redwood
Studio Arena Theatre Dir. John Henry Redwood
1999 Portland Center Stage Dir. Shirley Basfield Dunlap

1998      OPHELIA’S COTILLION  by Elmo Terry Morgan
Rites and Reason Theater  Brown University  Dir. Count Stovall

1997      HAVING OUR SAY by Emily Mann
Milwaukee Repertory Theater  Dir. Shirley Dunlap

1997      SEVEN GUITARS  by August Wilson
Arizona Theatre Company   Dir. Benny Sato Ambush

1996      MEDEA MYTH by Dan Plato
Iowa State Theatre   Dir. Shirley Basfield Dunlap

1996      THE SCREENED-IN PORCH by Marian X
Crossroads Theatre Company   Dir. Judyie Al-Bilali

1994      THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA by Tennesee Williams
Alabama Shakespeare Festival   Dir. Ed Cambridge

1995      BETWEEN THE LINES by Regina Taylor
Actor’s Theatre of Louisville,  Humanna Festival   Dir. Shirley Jo Finney

1994      JAR THE FLOOR  by Cheryl West
The Cincinnati Playhouse, Geva Theatre,   Dir. Benny Soto Ambush
Southcoast Repertory Theatre

1993      BRER RABBIT  by Loni Berry
Rites & Reason Theatre, Dir. Loni Berry
National Black Theatre Festival Winston-Salem, NC  Dir. Loni Berry

1993      FROM THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA by Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland
Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Dir. Shirley Basfield Dunlap

1993      LOVE LANGSTON by Lonnie Barri
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dir. Lonnie Barri

1992      MOTHERS by Kathleen McGhee Anderson
Crossroads Theatre, Dir. Shirley Jo Finney, Commissioned by Bill Cosby

1992      BUS STOP by William Inge
Allentown Playhouse

1992      OAK AND IVY  by Kathleen McGhee Anderson
Crossroads Theatre, Dir. Shirley Jo Finney

1992      FENCES  by August Wilson
Pennsylvania Stage Company, Dir. Benny Sato Ambush
1991  Oregon Shakespeare Festival,
Allentown Playhouse, Dir. Charles Dumas

1991       LETTERS FROM A NEW ENGLAND NEGRO by Sherley Ann Williams
National Black Theater Festival
 Winston-Salem, N.C., Dir. Benny Sato Ambush

WestBeth Theater, Dark Angel Productions, Dir. Greg Frelon

1987       THE SUICIDE Dir. Deborah Lubar
by Max Erdman Smith College

1987     FOR COLORED GIRLS… Dir. Chezia Thompson
by Ntozake Shange Smith College

Smith College, Dir. Mark Harrison

Cast and crew for The Importance of Being Earnest, Smith College, 1986

1986      A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/ A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE Smith College, Dir. Mark Harrison

1985      X (The Opera) by A., C., & T., Davis
Walnut St. Theater, Phila. Music Festival Prod., Dir. Rhoda Levine

1984      THE DISTRICT LINE by Joseph A. Walker
Theater Four, Negro Ensemble Company, N.Y., Dir, Douglas Turner Ward

1984      WAITIN’ IN THE WINGS by Peter Link & Wm. S. Reilly
Manhattan Community College, Dir. Peter Link
1984      TAKE ME ALONG by Eugene O'Neill
RACCA/Manhattan comm.Coll., Shirley Radcliffe, Prod., N.Y., Dir. Geraldine Fitzgerald

1984      COLORED PEOPLE'S TIME   by Leslie Lee      
Black Hist. Month Tour, Dir. Horacena Taylor
1982  Cherry Lane Theater '82, Douglas Turner Ward, Prod., Negro Ensemble Co., N.Y.

Frederick Douglas House, National Parks Service, Dir./Prod. William Greaves    

1983       BREAKIN' LIGHT  by A. Marcus Hemphill
Arts in Religion Program, Riverside Church, Prod., N.Y., Dir. Morgan Freeman

1982 adapted by Hazel Bryant Caribbean & European Tours
HHE Holland Ltd., Prod., N.Y., Dir. Mike Malone

1982      THE WORLD OF BEN CALDWELL  by Ben Caldwell
New Federal Theater, Woodie King/Steve Tennen,, Dir. Richard Gant

1982      ABERCROMBIE APOCALYPSE  by Paul Carter Harrison
West Side Arts Theater, Negro Ensemble Co., N.Y., Dir. Clinton Davis

1982      COTTON CLUB REVIEW by Larl Beecham
Richard Allen Center for Culture & Art, Dir. Larl Beecham

1982       "LONG DAY'S JOURNEY  INTO NIGHT"   by Eugene O'Neill    (TV)
ABC Cable TV - Winner ACE, Dir. William Woodman

1981      LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT   by Eugene O'Neill
St. Peter’s Theatre, N.Y.C.
Anspacher Theater, N.Y. Shakespeare Festival
The Egg, Albany, N.Y., Hazel Bryant, Prod., N.Y. N.Y. Public Theatre/RACCA, Dir. Geraldine Fitzgerald

1981      BLACK NATIVITY  by Langston Hughes
Fords Theater, Wash., D.C./   Teatro Sala Umberto, Rome
Hazel Bryant, Prod., Dir. Edmund Cambridge


Myrna Colley-Lee adjusting costume for Black Nativity

1981      "BOOKER T. WASHINGTON,   THE LEGACY & THE LIFE"     (Film Art Direction)              
B.T. Washington House, National Parks Service, Dir./Prod.  Wm. Greaves

1980      THE LION AND THE JEWEL  by Wole Soyinka
Mitzi Newhouse Theater, N.Y., Black Theater Festival
Hazel Bryant, Prod. (Racca), Dir. Mical Whitacker

1980      SOMETHING LOST   by Anthony Wisdom
Henry Street Playhouse, New Federal Theatre  Woodie King, Jr., Prod., Dir. Richard Gant