Two-time Tony Award-winning Actress-Singer Judy Kaye and Award Winning Writer-Director Allison Anders Receive Distinguished Alumni Awards

Teri Schwartz, dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, hosted award-winning director Carl Franklin as the school’s 2018 commencement keynote speaker today. Dean Schwartz presided over the ceremony in Royce Hall.

Franklin is a director of film and television. His first feature, One False Move, garnered critical acclaim and earned him several awards including Best Director at the Independent Spirit Awards and Best New Filmmaker at the MTV Movie Awards. He subsequently directed the award-winning HBO miniseries Laurel Avenue and the moody neo-noir feature Devil in a Blue Dress, starring Denzel Washington. His other film credits include One True Thing, starring Renée Zellweger, William Hurt and Meryl Streep; High Crimes; Out of Time and the critically acclaimed Bless Me, Ultima. His remarkable body of work in television includes directing episodes of highly lauded shows such as HBO’s The Pacific, The Newsroom and The Leftovers, and Showtime’s Homeland. Other credits include episodes of Showtime’s Ray Donovan and The Affair; HBO’s Rome and Vinyl; Hulu’s Chance; and TNT’s Falling Skies, Good Behavior and the upcoming series One Day She’ll Darken. He also directed the pilot episodes of Starz’ Magic City and ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley. He received an NAACP Image Award and an Emmy Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on Netflix’s breakthrough hit House of Cards and won another Image Award in the same category for his direction of Netflix’s smash hit 13 Reasons Why. Franklin is next set to direct multiple episodes of Netflix’s Mindhunter in Summer 2018.

“We were greatly honored to have Carl Franklin as our distinguished commencement speaker for 2018. To have a filmmaker of his stature and distinction grace our ceremony on the most important day of the academic year was very exciting for all of us at our UCLA TFT. Carl's galvanizing speech inspired our students tremendously as they embark on this next significant chapter in their lives and careers.”

Two-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer Judy Kaye (Nice Work if You Can Get It, The Phantom of the Opera) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater and award-winning writer and director Allison Anders (Border Radio, Mi Vida Loca) received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Film, Television and Digital Media.

“We were thrilled to have two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judy Kaye and groundbreaking filmmaker Allison Anders as our 2018 alumnae honorees for Theater and Film, respectively. Both have had illustrious, hugely important careers. They both represent the very finest of a UCLA TFT education. We are so proud of these great alumnae for their extraordinary success and inspiring creative works. We were very honored to present Judy and Allison with the highest award we give to our alumni.”

Kaye most recently starred on Broadway and on tour as Madame Morrible in Wicked. She also appeared on Broadway as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and the Duchess in Nice Work If You Can Get It, for which she won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards in 2012. She won her first Tony in 1988 for her role as Carlotta in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Other career highlights include roles in the original productions of Souvenir, Mamma Mia!, Ragtime, On the Twentieth Century and numerous productions of Sweeney Todd, portraying Mrs. Lovett. Kaye has recorded numerous cast albums and solo recordings, and performed on Leonard Bernstein’s Grammy Award-winning Arias and Barcarolles. She has sung at The Santa Fe Opera in La Boheme, The Beggars Opera and Orpheus in the Underworld, with symphony orchestras around the United States and Europe, and has performed twice at the White House.

Anders is an award-winning film and television writer and director. Her film debut, Border Radio, examined the Los Angeles punk scene in the 1980s and went on to be nominated by the Independent Feature Project for Best First Feature. It is part of The Criterion Collection. Anders’ other credits include Gas Food Lodging, Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life), Four Rooms, Grace of My Heart and Sugar Town. In 2001, Don Cheadle was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Anders’ film Things Behind the Sun, which also received the Peabody Award. Anders is well known in television for directing episodes of hit shows such as Sex and the City, Gross Pointe, Cold Case, The L Word, Men in Trees, What About Brian?, Southland, The Mentalist, Orange Is the New Black, Gang Related, The Divide, Murder in the First, Proof, AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies and the CW’s much lauded Riverdale.

Posted: June 15, 2018