We Design: People. Practice. Progress.
One of my missions in life is to debunk the myth that design is not a viable career path.
Clint Ramos has designed sets and costumes for over 100 theater, opera, and dance productions, and in 2016 he became the first person of color to win a Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play for his work on the show “Eclipsed,” which tells the story of five Liberian women and their tale of survival near the end of the Second Liberian Civil War. He has also been nominated for two Tony Awards for his designs for “Once On This Island” and “Torch Song.”
A photo of a set from “Eclipsed”
A scene from another musical Clint Ramos did costume design for, “Here Lies Love”
Clint has also received the Ani ng Dangal Presidential Medal for dramatic arts from the President of the Philippines, not once, but twice. He has worked with numerous stars of the stage and screen, including Marisa Tomei, Adam Driver, Keri Russell, Allison Janney, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lupita Nyong’o, Sutton Foster, and Bradley Cooper, to name a few.
While designing for shows performed in NYC, across the United States, and around the world, Clint also serves as a professor of design and the head of design and production at Fordham University. Previously, he was a professor of scenic design at SUNY Purchase and has been a visiting professor/artist at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and at Georgetown University.
Clint Ramos on the red carpet at the 2019 Tony Awards
Photo by Sean Zanni
Growing up as self-described “overweight gay man” in Cebu, Phillipines, Clint often felt like an outsider. After discovering theater at a boarding school in Manila, he joined a theater troupe, earned his BA in theater arts at the University of the Philippines, and was encouraged by teachers to pursue his practice in New York City. At age 20, he attended graduate school at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU as the recipient of the Gary Kalkin Memorial Scholarship. He then started working on off-Broadway productions, assisting with props, costumes, scenery, and making connections with designers in the industry.
After earning his MFA in design for stage and film, his career was set in motion when director George Wolf approached him to design for the Public Theater in 1997. In addition to his current design work, he also sits on the board of SLAM NYC—working toward creating NYC’s first ever recovery high school, and he recently sat on the board of FIERCE NY—an organization devoted to building the leadership and power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color.
Clint hopes that his career and achievements will show other young people of color that a career in design is an option for them, and he strives to help meet this end in his workplace by only employing women and people of color in his studio. Clint also mentors designers who have just left graduate school, and he helps them make connections and find opportunities within the field.