On Saturday, March 5, a record-breaking crowd came out to watch award-winning actor, writer, producer, and musician Daveed Diggs perform at the UNCG Auditorium. Diggs also hosted a standing-room-only masterclass session for students.
“It was an incredible experience to feel the positive energy as Daveed poked his head through the curtain to sneak a peek at the audience,” said Artist-in Residence and UNCG Musical Theatre Coordinator Dominick Amendum. “The crowd roared with applause. With attendance exceeding 1,000 at the evening event, it’s the largest audience we have had on campus since the pandemic. We were thrilled to see so many members of the Greensboro arts community, including Spartans and students and parents from Weaver Academy. It felt so good to be back.”
During the masterclass, Diggs answered questions about his artistic influences, challenges working in the industry as a Black actor, and how he shapes the roles he takes on. He also encouraged students to take advantage of the resources they have access to in college, and to be proactive in seeking feedback from faculty.
“The resources here, this building is magic,” Diggs said, referring to the Sprinkle Theatre where the group was gathered. “Space is so important for an artist. And it’s really expensive when you’re not in school.”
Known for his dual roles as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in the Broadway sensation “Hamilton,” for which he won a Tony Award, and the “Hamilton” movie, for which Diggs’s performance earned him a 2021 Emmy nomination and a SAG Award nomination. Diggs has worked with Tina Fey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Javier Bardem, among others.
Diggs co-wrote, produced, and starred in the critically-acclaimed Lionsgate feature “Blindspotting,” which Variety’s Peter DeBruge called “the most exciting cinematic take on contemporary race relations since ‘Do the Right Thing’ nearly 30 years ago.” Eric Kohn of IndieWire deemed Diggs as “an instant movie star,” and Diggs received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance. Obama also included the film on the 2018 edition of his favorite movies of the year.
On television, Diggs currently stars in the TNT series “Snowpiercer” opposite Jennifer Connelly. He was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for his performance in Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird” opposite Ethan Hawke. What’s next for Diggs? He’s joining the star-studded cast of Apple TV’s anthology series “Extrapolations” from writer/director Scott Z. Burns.
See the lineup and purchase tickets for 2022-23 University Concert and Lecture Series at vpa.uncg.edu/home/ucls-22-23.
Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications
Performance photography by Mike Micciche, Micciche Photography
Masterclass photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications