Uzo Aduba

Uzo Aduba Named Commencement Speaker at Dodge College The three-time Emmy-winning star of 'Orange Is the New Black' and 'Mrs. America' will be featured at the ceremony on May 18.

Uzo Aduba, the three-time Emmy-winning star of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Mrs. America,” has been named the 2024 Commencement speaker at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, the No. 4-ranked film school in the nation. The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at Chapman University’s Wilson Field.

A formidable and celebrated talent whose work spans television, film and theater, Aduba gained national prominence for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s critically acclaimed series “Orange Is the New Black.”  Her performance garnered a sweep of honors including SAG Awards as Best Actress in a Comedy in 2015 and 2016, a 2015 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and a 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy, joining Ed Asner to become only the second actor ever to win Emmys for the same role in the comedy and drama categories. She was also honored as part of the show’s Best Ensemble in a Comedy wins at the SAG Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. With her SAG and Emmy honors, she became the first Black actress to win the award in each category.

“Uzo Aduba is one of the exceptional talents of our time,” said Stephen Galloway, dean of Dodge College. “She represents everything we most cherish at Dodge College: a fierce intelligence, originality and the highest commitment to excellence. We are thrilled to have her as our Commencement speaker this year.”

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Dodge College is the No. 4 film school in the nation.

Aduba also starred in the Emmy-winning HBO drama series “In Treatment,” and Amazon Studios’ anthology series, “Solos.” In 2020, Aduba earned her third Emmy and a Critics Choice Award for her portrayal of Shirley Chisholm in the limited series “Mrs. America,” opposite Cate Blanchett.

Currently, Aduba can be seen with Matthew Broderick in the Netflix limited series “Painkiller,” which dramatizes the origins of the opioid crisis.  She is in production on the upcoming Shondaland Netflix series “The Residence,” and she recently wrapped Searchlight’s “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can Eat,” as well as the independent comedy/mystery “Providence.”

On the big screen, Aduba’s credits include Disney Pixar’s “Lightyear,” “National Champions,” “Miss Virginia,” “Beats,” “Candy Jar,” “My Little Pony: The Movie,” “American Pastoral” and “Tallulah.”      

A Boston native, Aduba studied classical music at the Boston University School of Fine Arts. She began her professional career on the stage, making her Broadway debut in 2007 as Toby in Helen Edmundson’s adaptation ofCoram Boy,” followed by the hit musical revival of “Godspell” in 2011. She made her West End theater debut in The Jamie Lloyd Company’s contemporary adaptation of Jean Genet’s “The Maids.” Aduba was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play for her work in the Kennedy Center/Olney Theater production of “Translations of Xhosa.” Other theater credits include “Dessa Rose,” “Turnado: Rumble for the Ring” and “Abyssinia.” In 2022, she received Tony Award and Drama League Award nominations for her performance in Second Stage Theater’s Broadway production of Lynn Nottage’s play “Clyde’s,” opposite Ron Cephas Jones.

Aduba recently launched her production company, Meynon Media, and signed a multi-year producing deal with CBS Studios where she is set to produce “All Her Little Secrets” as a limited series starring Aduba for Showtime from writer Aurin Squire, based upon the best-selling novel by Wanda M. Morris. With a growing Meynon feature slate as well, Aduba produced Marianne Farley’s live action short film “Frimas,” which was shortlisted for the 2022 Academy Awards.

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