Marjorie Slaiman, longtime costume designer for D.C.’s Arena Stage theater company, died from complications of heart surgery Sept. 13 in Fairfax, Va. She was 77.
In her 26-year career with Arena Stage she designed thousands of costumes for more than 130 productions, including the 1967 premiere of “The Great White Hope” with James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander, which alone required more than 230 costumes. She also worked on Arena’s productions of “Our Town” and “Inherit the Wind,” which both toured the Soviet Union in 1973.
Her Broadway credits include Arthur Kopit’s “Indians,” Studs Terkel’s “Working” and Elie Wiesel’s “Zalmen, or the Madness of God.”
She won the first Helen Hayes Award for her costume design for “Man and Superman” in 1985 and was nominated for seven more Hayes awards before her retirement in 1993.
Bronx native graduated from the New York School of Industrial Art and got her start designing lingerie in New York and costumes for the Shakespeare Theater Festival in Washington during the 1960s.
She is survived by four children, five brothers, four sisters and six grandchildren.