Audra McDonald


Audra Ann McDonald (born July 3, 1970) is an American four-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer. She currently stars in the ABC television drama Private Practice as Dr. Naomi Bennett.

Born in Berlin, Germany and raised in Fresno, California, the elder of two daughters, she began to study acting at a young age to counteract her diagnosis as “hyperactive”. McDonald graduated from the Roosevelt School of the Arts program within Theodore Roosevelt High School in Fresno. She got her start in acting with Dan Pessano and Good Company Players, beginning in their Junior Company. “I knew I wanted to be involved in theater when: I had my first chance to perform with the Good Company Players Junior Company.”, “The people who have had the most impact on my life: Good Company director Dan Pessano and my mother.” She studied classical voice as an undergraduate at the Juilliard School of Music, graduating in 1993.

McDonald became a three-time Tony Award winner by the age of 28 — for her performances in Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime — placing her alongside Shirley Booth, Gwen Verdon and Zero Mostel by accomplishing this feat within five years.

She was nominated for another Tony Award for her performance in Marie Christine before she won her fourth in 2004 for her role in A Raisin in the Sun, placing her in the company of other four-time winning actresses Angela Lansbury, Gwen Verdon and Mary Martin. She reprised her Raisin role for a 2008 television adaptation, earning her a second Emmy Award nomination.

Throughout her career McDonald has maintained ties to her classical training and repertoire. In 2005 The Seven Deadly Sins: A Song Cycle was commissioned for and performed by her at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. She sang two solo one-act operas at the Houston Grand Opera in 2006: Francis Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and the world premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s Send (who are you? I love you). In 2007, McDonald starred with Patti LuPone in the Los Angeles Opera production of Kurt Weill’s opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny directed by John Doyle.



Build a Bridge-CD

How Glory Goes-CD

Way Back to Paradise-CD

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Allegro” (First Complete Recording)
Audra McDonald (Artist), Patrick Wilson (Artist)

Happy Songs-CD

Marie Christine (1999 Broadway Cast) [CAST RECORDING]
Anthony Crivello, Michael McCormick, Darius de Haas, Audra McDonald, Mary Testa, Michael John LaChiusa

Audra McDonald – Live at the Donmar London (2000)

A Raisin in the Sun (2008)-DVD

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