Kim Simons Condon (1955-2005)

The memorial celebration of the life of costume designer and graphic artist Kim Simons Condon was a standing-room-only occasion. The event was held Saturday, March 5, at the B Street Theatre, and just about every theater company in the region was represented. This is understandable, because Condon designed outstanding work for most of them over the past 10 years.Actress Martha Omiyo Kight drove that point home when she looked out over the crowd and asked, “How many of you wore one of Kim’s costumes? They were really special, weren’t they?” Dozens of hands went up. Kight said she never looked more beautiful than she did in the costume Condon made for her 10 years ago in the first River Stage production, Mrs. California.

Condon could create outfits that breathed a time and place out of history, like the cavalry uniforms and American Indian garments that conjured the 19th-century American frontier for the River Stage production of Ghost Dance.

Condon’s costumes also could reflect her famous spontaneity and impish humor, like the suggestive top designed for Stephanie Gularte in the River Stage production of How I Learned to Drive. Gularte played a teenage girl who develops a woman’s figure. When she realized that men were attracted to her breasts, the costume became electrified with bright, blinking concentric circles that lit up like targets on her chest. Audiences gasped, giggled and guffawed—and still recalled the costume, years later.

Condon was unique, as an artist and a person. Theater in this town won’t be the same without her.