Uzo Aduba may have spent the last several years racking up awards for her small screen work on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black, but lest audiences forget: She is a woman of the theatre.
Aduba was a classical voice major at Boston University and first made waves in the theatre community during a 2003 production of Translations of Xhosa at the Kennedy Center, for which she earned a Helen Hayes Award nomination. The show was produced in conjunction with Boston University School of the Arts. Aduba followed the show as it moved on to New York Theatre Workshop in 2006 and to La Jolla Playhouse in 2008.
Between Off-Broadway and La Jolla, Aduba bowed in a regional production of Abyssinia and the Off-Broadway The Seven before making her Broadway debut in Coram Boy. Five years later, she returned to Broadway in Godspell at Circle in the Square Theatre. She also performed at the Public Theater in a production of Venice.
She began he work as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on Orange Is the New Black with the series debut in 2013. Aduba has already picked up two Emmy Awards for OITNB—one in 2014 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series and one in 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, as the series switched categories. Aduba is the only female actor to have won Emmys in both Drama and Comedy for the same role.
Aduba also earned two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2016, and three as part of the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble of a Comedy Series in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
At the same time she’s been wowing audiences with her “Crazy Eyes,” Aduba has made time to support theatre. In 2014 she sang “Lily’s Eyes” with Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones as part of Broadway Backwards to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. And as Glinda the Good Witch, Aduba raised the roof on NBC’s The Wiz LIVE! in 2015 with her solo “Believe in Yourself.”
This 2017 Emmy nomination marks Aduba’s third. Come September, we’ll see how crazy the voters go for her “Crazy Eyes.”
Tune in to the 69th Annual Emmy Awards September 17 on CBS.