VIDEO: Watch Audra McDonald and Oskar Eustis in Conversation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

By: May. 23, 2018

Watch a video of Audra McDonald and Oskar Eustis in conversation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on April 14, 2018.

Check out the video here:

Audra McDonald, the 2018 recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, shares timely stories from her career in a public presentation with Oskar Eustis, the Artistic Director of The Public Theater in New York.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) presented the Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald the 2018 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT. The $100,000 cash prize awarded at a gala in her honor also included an artist residency, during which McDonald presented a public talk at MIT on April 14, 2018 with Oskar Eustis.

On the occasion of the Award, the conversation covered topics including McDonald's most memorable and career-defining roles on Broadway, her current concert tour and television series, and her off-stage social advocacy on behalf of underserved youth and the LGBTQ community. Eustis and McDonald also discussed how theatrical revivals-such as McDonald's performances in A Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and more recently, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill-reflected their times and the evolution of social attitudes and cultural experiences.

Eustis, who directed McDonald in the role of Olivia in The Public Theater's 2009 production of Twelfth Night, likewise engages with issues of social import in his work, such as inclusion and access for both theater makers and audiences. For more than 60 years, The Public Theater has operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone.

McDonald, the winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards and an Emmy Award, visited the campus during the semester to work with students in MIT's music and theater arts classes and ensembles.