Education

Roosevelt High School theater to be named after Broadway star Audra McDonald

Broadway singer Audra McDonald
Broadway singer Audra McDonald Special to The Bee

Fresno Unified is planning to name the theater at the Roosevelt School of the Arts after Broadway star Audra McDonald, its most famous alumna.

McDonald, who graduated from Roosevelt in 1988, went on to attend the prestigious Julliard School in New York City. As a singer, actress and Broadway performer, her career is unparallelled.

She has won six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award. In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts – America’s highest honor for achievement in the arts.

Miguel Arias, Fresno Unified School District spokesman, said the idea was brought forward by school board member Cal Johnson. The board will vote on the request during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

Arias said McDonald had graciously accepted the honor. The district is now working with McDonald to coordinate a time for the dedication.

She will be performing in Fresno on May 26 at the William Saroyan Theatre and Arias hopes to do the dedication during that time frame.

Although it’s unclear if McDonald will perform at the dedication, there’s no question the students at Roosevelt are willing to step out on stage.

“Our kids are excited about the chance to perform for her,” Arias said.

Robert Rodriguez: 559-441-6327, @FresnoBeeBob

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