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Skeggs ’12 nominated for Tony Award

Emily Skeggs ’12 was recently riding in a car with fellow Emerson alumni when she learned the amazing news that she was nominated for a Tony Award.

“I was surrounded by my best friends,” said Skeggs, a New York City native who is nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in the Broadway play Fun Home.


Emily Skeggs '12 is nominated for a Tony Award in the category of Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Fun Home. (Courtesy Photo)

Skeggs also performs in Shakespearean Jazz Show, a theater group of Emerson and Berklee College of Music alumni, and was traveling with the group to perform at a New York middle school when she learned she was nominated for a Tony.

“My friend managed to pick up the live stream feed just as they were announcing the nomination,” Skeggs said. “I was stuffed into this car with guitars and drums and I was with my favorite people in the world, whom I met at Emerson, so it was this amazing thing.”

Skeggs, who majored in Performing Arts and was heavily involved in Emerson’s theater community as a student, said the past year and a half “has really been a whirlwind.”

“It’s happened so fast,” she said. “Honestly, I’m still in a bit of shock. I feel very, very grateful.”

In Fun Home, the main character, Allison, is played by three different actors as the play focuses on different points of her life. Skeggs plays Allison during her college years.

In the play, Allison comes out as a lesbian, and her closeted gay father commits suicide. Allison painfully reflects on her relationship with her dad throughout the years.

Skeggs, Fun Home

Emily Skeggs '12, on right, plays the college-age role of Allison, the main character in Fun Home. (Courtesy Photo)

Skeggs said she is particularly proud of Fun Home because it’s the first time a Broadway show has featured a lesbian protagonist.

“It’s cutting-edge and current with what the Supreme Court is going through right now,” she said. “We wouldn’t have the success we’ve had if we weren’t experiencing this revolution today.”

Acting has been a part of Skeggs’ life since a young age—she was a drama major at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York before coming to Emerson, where she was in the Honors Program.

“Part of why I picked Emerson is because I’ve always believed that in order to act, I needed a well-rounded understanding of the world,” she said. “I needed a place where I could study acting and the craft, but I could also study the world at large.”

Skeggs was an actor in a long list of Emerson Stage productions directed by faculty members Benny Sato Ambush and Maureen Shea. She also worked closely with Performing Arts Chair Melia Bensussen.

“The acting classes were incredible in terms of craft and figuring out what kind of actor I am,” Skeggs said.

When it comes to working in theater, Skeggs says she’s “in it for the long haul.”

“I hope to be with [Fun Home] for a very long time,” she said. “I hope to get into some film and TV stuff, but for now I’m focusing on where I am and I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

The Tony Awards will be televised live on Sunday, June 7, at 8:00 pm on CBS.

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