Award-winning costume designer Dede Ayite will be a featured speaker Jan. 18 as part of Ball State University’s annual Arts Alive series, presented by the University’s College of Fine Arts (CFA). The event, which will be free and open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. in Recital Hall (AR 217) in the Fine Arts Building.

In addition to being a past nominee for two Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards, Ms. Ayite earned a special Drama Desk Award and a TDF/Kitty Leech Young Master Award—both in 2022. She has also received Obie, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Theatre Bay Area, and Jeff awards.

“The Department of Theatre and Dance is extremely excited to welcome Dede Ayite to campus,” said Bill Jenkins, chair of Ball State’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “As an artist with an extraordinary resume and impeccable credentials, her visit is sure to inspire and thrill our students, faculty, and staff. We look forward to this significant and thrilling opportunity.”

Ms. Ayite has designed costumes that have been featured in nearly a dozen productions on Broadway, including “Ohio State Murders,” “Chicken & Biscuits,” “American Son,” and “Children of a Lesser God.” Recently, her creations appeared in “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Her work has also appeared in Off-Broadway productions in nationally renowned venues such as the Atlantic Theater Company, Signature Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and Lincoln Center Theater, as well as regionally at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, American Repertory Theater, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Among the many theater productions that featured her work are “Secret Life of Bees,” “Sugar in Our Wounds,” “Ugly Lies the Bone,” and “Bella: An American Tale.”

Additionally, Ms. Ayite’s work in television has appeared on Netflix, Comedy Central, and FOX.

Arts Alive aims to make arts and entertainment more accessible to Ball State students, plus the Greater Muncie community and beyond. The series, previously centered around the School of Music, recently expanded for the 2023-24 season to include events from the David Owsley Museum of Art, the School of Art, and the Department of Theatre and Dance.

To learn more about the Arts Alive series, call 765-285-5495 or email