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Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs

Taye Diggs named Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts for 2018-19

The groundbreaking actor and singer from film and stage will start his residency at Santa Clara University this fall. 

Taye Diggs has a new role to add to his résumé: the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts at Santa Clara University. The actor, singer, and children’s book author, best known for his groundbreaking role in the Tony Award-winning musical RENT, was announced as the artist-in-residence for the Center for the Arts and Humanities at SCU during the upcoming school year.

The multi-talented performer will start his residency on campus this fall, where he’ll be sharing his wit, wisdom, and experience with SCU’s students, faculty, and community through classes and projects.

This week’s announcement by Dennis Gordon and Christina Zanfagna, co-directors of the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and Debbie Tahmassebi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, comes as sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell, Emmy Award-winning host of CNN’s “United Shades of America,’’ recently wrapped up his 2017-18 residency at SCU. 

Diggs is known for originating the 1996 Broadway role of Benny, the landlord in RENT. The play won both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and was later made into a 2005 film, in which he repeated his standout performance. He has also appeared in the films How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Brown Sugar, and the television series Private Practice.

But Diggs’ résumé goes even deeper: he’s the co-artistic director of the dance company, Dre.dance, and author of three children’s books including I Love You More Than... (September 2018) with collaborator and illustrator Shane W. Evans. That followed their 2015 collaboration on two other children’s books, Mixed Me! and Chocolate Me. He’s also a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Outstanding Actor. 

To learn more about the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts, click here

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