Emmy Award Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph Joins N.C. A&T for Town & Gown Celebration

By Markita C. Rowe / 04/11/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (April 11, 2023) – Emmy Award-winning star of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” singer, producer and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph will join North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and community friends for their second Town & Gown celebration Friday, April 28.

Students will have the opportunity to spend an Evening with Sheryl Lee Ralph as she discusses her life, career and new book, “DIVA 2.0: 12 Life Lessons From Me For You.” Ralph will also hold masterclass sessions with music and theatre students, discussing acting and vocal techniques.  

In addition, Ralph will be the invited guest of honor at an invitation-only dinner, which will be followed by a “Dreamgirls” performance by N. C. A&T theatre students.

A&T’s Town & Gown celebration was formed to identify and celebrate the arts and the relationship between the university and the surrounding Piedmont Triad community, which A&T has served for more than 130 years. The event provides an opportunity to showcase the artistic talents of A&T students while bringing to campus university constituents and supporters, including business leaders, elected officials and prominent community members. The presenting sponsor of this year’s event is Google.

Ralph is a staple in the entertainment industry, with an acclaimed career spanning three decades. Her background includes bringing characters to life on screen, performing on Broadway, producing, landing the title of national best-selling author and engaging in deeply-rooted philanthropic endeavors. In addition to winning an Emmy, she has been recognized as a Tony Award nominee, NAACP Image Award nominee and Independent Spirit Award winner.

Ralph shines on the hit ABC comedy series, “Abbott Elementary” as Barbara, a longtime and respected teacher. She is also known for her role as Dee Mitchell, starring in more than 100 episodes of “Moesha” opposite Grammy Award winner Brandy.

In theatre, Ralph is acclaimed for her award-winning work, creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical “Dreamgirls,” which earned her Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards.

A true depiction of the music business, the production of “Dreamgirls” is inspired by stories of rhythm and blues’ most popular superstars, including The Supremes, James Brown, and a roster of artists that helped change the landscape of popular music in the 1960s and 1970s.

Leading characters Effie, Lorrell and Deena have a dream to be the next big girl group on the radio, no matter the cost. When a ruthless manager discovers them at a local talent show with his own agenda for fame, the young women are propelled into a world where dreams do come true – and success can tear apart even the strongest of relationships.

A&T’s production of “Dreamgirls” is directed by theatre professor Miller Lucky Jr., with musical direction by A&T Jazz Ensemble Director Jonovan Cooper, Ph.D., and choreography by Jordan Hankerson. This story of ambition, hope and betrayal is sure to have audience members on the edge of their seats.

“Dreamgirls” runs Thursday, April 27 through Sunday, April 30. All performances will be at Harrison Auditorium at A&T. Tickets are available for the Town & Gown performance at the ticket office in Brown Hall on campus or online.

  • Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 28, 7:30 p.m., Town & Gown Performance (dinner and show)
  • Saturday, April 29, 3 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 3 p.m.

For tickets, call 336-334-7749 or visit http://www.ncataggies.com.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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