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Cal State East Bay alumnus wins 'Best Actor' Tony Award


James Monroe Iglehart

  • June 9, 2014

Cal State East Bay alumnus James Monroe Iglehart (Theatre ’98) took home the 2014 Tony Award Sunday night (June 8) for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. Iglehart won for his role as Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

During his acceptance speech, he gave a "praise shout" and performed a few dance moves at the microphone. Among those receiving a “thank you” was former CSUEB Theatre Department costume technician Celestine Ranney-Howes, who was singled out for “…keeping [him] in college.”

A Broadway veteran, this was his first Tony nomination. Iglehart has also appeared in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Memphis.” In addition, he has appeared on stage and screen in such shows as “The Wiz,” "The Good Wife" and "The Electric Company.” James is also a member of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme.

“James was very special. He did it all,” said Professor Thomas C. Hird, chair of CSUEB’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Hird, who taught the future Tony winner at Cal State East Bay, said Iglehart “could sing, dance, act, and he would even work backstage. And he’s still that way today.”

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