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2020 Emmy Nominees: Stage to Screen

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With the nominations announced for the 2020 Emmy Awards®, we’re taking a moment to dive into our archives and celebrate some of the nominees that appeared on our stages and supported our organization over the years.

Uzo Aduba, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (Mrs. America)

Venice at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (2010)

J.D. Goldblatt and Uzo Aduba with the cast of “Venice” at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Venice is a dystopian hip-hop musical that was created as a co-production with Kansas City Rep at the Douglas. Uzo Aduba originated the role of Anna Monroe, the ghost of the protagonist’s mother. In addition to being a member of the original cast, she also played the role when the show went to The Public Theater in New York.

Wayne Brady, Outstanding Game Show Host (Let’s Make a Deal)

Blade to the Heat at the Mark Taper Forum (1996)

(L–R) George Villas, Ray Oriel, and Wayne Brady in “Blade to the Heat” at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz/Jay Thompson.

Before rising to fame on Whose Line Is It Anyway, Wayne Brady performed in the West Coast premiere of Blade to the Heat at the Taper in 1996 opposite a cast including Raymond Cruz, Dominic Hoffman, and Justina Machado.

Sterling K. Brown, Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series (This Is Us)

Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) at the Mark Taper Forum (2016)

Sterling K. Brown in “Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 and 3)” at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz

In 2016, Sterling K. Brown reprised his role as Hero in Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) at the Taper. Hero is a slave living through the Civil War that is offered his freedom if he joins his master to fight for the Confederacy and is faced with the difficult decision to leave the people he loves for what could be an empty promise.

Brian Cox, Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series (Succession)

Skylight at the Mark Taper Forum (1997)

(L–R) Laila Robins and Brian Cox in “Skylight” at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

In 1997, Brian Cox starred as Tom Sergeant in the British play Skylight opposite Laila Robins and Michael Hall. The play centers around a school teacher who is suddenly confronted by her former lover, Tom, with whom she had an affair with several years prior.

Laurence Fishburne, Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series (#FreeRayshawn)

Two Trains Running at the Ahmanson at the UCLA James A. Doolittle Theatre (1992)
Without Walls at the Mark Taper Forum (2006)

(L–R) Matt Lanter and Laurence Fishburne in a scene from “Without Walls.” Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Laurence Fishburne starred as Sterling, a young Turk freshly out of prison in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. He also appeared in Alfred Uhry’s Without Walls, which made its World premiere at the Taper in 2006. Fishburne plays Morocco, a gay high school drama teacher that produces The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie for his class, which becomes a mirror to the story that unravels in Uhry’s play.

Jeff Goldblum, Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special (The World According to Jeff Goldblum)

Seminar at the Ahmanson Theatre (2012)

(L–R) Lucas Near-Verbrugghe and Jeff Goldblum in "Seminar." Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Jeff Goldblum reprised his Broadway turn in Seminar for the West Coast premiere in 2012 at the Ahmanson. Goldblum played Leonard, a professor who leads a seminar for four young writers in New York City.

Louis Gossett Jr., Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Watchmen)

And Where She Stops Nobody Knows at the Mark Taper Forum (1976)
Three Sisters at the Mark Taper Forum (1976)
Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Ahmanson Theatre (2017)

Louis Gossett Jr. in “Three Sisters” at the Mark Taper Forum.

Louis Gossett Jr. was a member of the Taper’s repertory program in 1976, starring in plays including And Where She Stops Nobody Knows and Three Sisters at the Taper. He later returned to Center Theatre Group in 2017 to help celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary.

Hugh Jackman, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Bad Education)

Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (2019)

Anne Douglas, Deborra-lee Furness, Kirk Douglas and Hugh Jackman backstage after a benefit reading of “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-lee Furness joined Center Theatre Group for a reading of Kirk and Anne: Letter of Love Laughter and a Lifetime in Hollywood at the Douglas in 2019 for a special one-night fundraiser.

Cherry Jones, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Succession)

The Heiress at the Mark Taper Forum (1996)
Tongue of a Bird at the Ahmanson Theatre (1999)
Doubt at the Ahmanson Theatre (2006)

(L–R) Lisa Joyce and Cherry Jones in “Doubt” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Cherry Jones has starred in numerous productions with Center Theatre Group. She appeared in The Heiress as Catherine Sloper, an unassuming girl who is the heiress to a great fortune. In Tongue of a Bird, Jones portrays Maxine, a search and rescue pilot looking for a lost girl in Maine. She returned to our stage in 2006he Ahmanson in Doubt as Sister Aloysius, a nun who suspects a priest of improper conduct against a student.

Leslie Odom, Jr., Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance (Central Park)

Leap of Faith at the Ahmanson Theatre (2010)

Leslie Odom, Jr. and the cast of “Leap of Faith” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Leslie Odom, Jr. originated the role of Isaiah Sturdivant in Leap of Faith, a musical adaptation based on the 1992 movie of the same name. In addition to his performance in the World premiere at the Ahmanson, he was part of the original Broadway cast.

Sandra Oh, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Killing Eve)

The House of Bernarda Alba at the Mark Taper Forum (2002)

Sandra Oh in “The House of Bernarda Alba” at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

In 2002, playwright Chay Yew’s adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba was produced at the Taper. The show centers around the newly-widowed Bernarda Alba who sentences her five daughters to remain in mourning for eight years—ultimately resulting in another death. Sandra Oh portrayed Adela, the youngest of the title character’s five daughters.

Dolly Parton, Outstanding Television Movie (Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones)

9 to 5: The Musical at the Ahmanson Theatre (2008)

Dolly Parton receives flowers during the curtain call for the world premiere of “9 to 5: The Musical” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging.

9 to 5: The Musical, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, had its World premiere at the Ahmanson in 2008. The show, which is based on the hit 1980 movie of the same name, opened with a star-studded cast which included Stephanie J. Block, Alison Janney, and Megan Hilty.

Jeremy Pope, Outstanding Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Hollywood)

Ain’t Too Proud at the Ahmanson Theatre (2018)

Ephraim Sykes, Jeremy Pope, Jawan M. Jackson, James Harkness and Derrick Baskin in “Ain’t Too Proud” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Before heading to Broadway and receiving 11 Tony nominations and one win, Ain’t Too Proud, a musical featuring the songs of The Temptations, came to the Ahmanson. Jeremy Pope performed as Eddie Kendricks and was nominated for a Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Phylicia Rashad, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (This Is Us)

Gem of the Ocean at the Mark Taper Forum (2003)
A Raisin in the Sun at the Kirk Douglas Theatre (2012)
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum (2013)
Immediate Family at the Mark Taper Forum (2015)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at the Mark Taper Forum (2016)
Head of Passes at the Mark Taper Forum (2017)

Phylicia Rashad in “Head of Passes” at the Mark Taper Forum. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad has been a part of Center Theatre Group for over 15 years, including as the director of four productions across our stages: A Raisin in the Sun in 2011, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in 2013, Immediate Family in 2015, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in 2016. She’s also starred in two of our productions: Gem of the Ocean in 2003 and Head of Passes in 2016. Rashad created the role of Aunt Ester, a character mentioned in several of August Wilson’s Plays but not featured until Gem of the Ocean. In 2017, she reprised her role as Shelah—a dying mother living in hurricane-prone Louisiana—in Head of Passes at the Taper

Cicely Tyson, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (How to Get Away With Murder)

The Trip to Bountiful at the Ahmanson Theatre (2014)

Cicely Tyson and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in "The Trip to Bountiful" at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Cicely Tyson reprised her Tony Award-winning role as Mrs. Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful at the Ahmanson in 2014 opposite a starry cast including Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood. The play follows Mrs. Watts, who lives in her Houston apartment with her unhappy son and daughter-in-law, and eventually runs away to her hometown of Bountiful.


Special Mention

Alan Menken, Best Original Song in a Children’s, Young Adult or Animated Program (Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure *won at previously held Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremony)

Little Shop of Horrors at the Ahmanson Theatre (2004)
Leap of Faith at the Ahmanson Theatre (2010)

Composer Alan Menken (seated) and lyricist Glenn Slater in rehearsal for “Leap of Faith” at the Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Center Theatre Group has staged two shows featuring now EGOT-winner Alan Menken’s music, including Little Shop of Horrors in 2004 at the Ahmanson and the pre-Broadway World premiere of Leap of Faith, a musical based on the 1992 movie starring Steve Martin.