We are excited to welcome Tony Award-winning actress and NAACP Image Award nominee Anika Noni Rose as the next Revolutionary in Residence. Anika has empowered and inspired audiences through her portrayals of strong, female characters such as ‘Lorell Robinson’ in Dreamgirls, ‘Princess Tiana’ in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog, and Kizzy in History Channel’s adaption of Roots.
Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose recently wrapped filming the anticipated TNT drama pilot Beast Mode, where she plays the leading role of legendary boxing trainer Ann Wolfe. Anika starred as the title character in Carmen Jones at the CSC and was seen in Sam Levinson’s latest thriller, Assassination Nation alongside Suki Waterhouse which debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Anika led the cast of BET’s series The Quad, as Eva Fletcher for two seasons. In 2017, she was seen in the film, Everything, Everything based off the popular young adult novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon. The film also starred Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson.
Previously Anika starred in History Channel’s adaption of Roots as Kizzy. Her performance received a nomination for an NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Actress. She had a guest arc in the Starz hit series Power as LaVerne “Jukebox” Thomas quickly became a fan favorite. Anika has starred alongside Denzel Washington in the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. Her outstanding performance not only earned her numerous rave reviews, including a Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle nominations.
On the big screen, Anika starred as ‘Lorell Robinson’ in Dreamgirls which went on to receive an AFI ensemble award, as well as SAG award nomination for outstanding cast. In addition, the Dreamgirls soundtrack received a Grammy Award nomination. Anika voiced ‘Princess Tiana’ in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog, featuring the first African American Disney ‘Princess.’ The film received three Oscar nominations and Anika became the youngest inductee to ever be honored as a Disney Legend.
She appeared as Whoopi Goldberg’s daughter in the Lifetime movie, A Day Late and a Dollar Short as well as the feature film Half of a Yellow Sun. Anika’s many film credits include: Imperial Dreams, For Colored Girls and the comedy feature Just Add Water, Additional film credits include, As Cool As I Am and the animated feature Khumba, where she voiced the character Lungisa.
No stranger to television, Anika starred in the Hallmark special The Watsons Go to Birmingham and appeared on some of the networks highest rated shows including her re-occurring roles on CBS’s The Good Wife and ABC’s Private Practice. In addition she guest starred on CBS’s Elementary and FOX’s The Simpsons (voice of Abie’s long lost wife). Other TV credits include: the A&E mini-series Stephen King’s Bag of Bones opposite Pierce Brosnan, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency for HBO/BBC/, where she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series."
Anika won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Caroline, or Change. She starred in in Deborah Allen's Broadway revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, opposite James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad. She also starred in Footloose and the Off-Broadway production of the Laura Nyro musical Eli’s Comin’, the Stephen Sondheim’s Company for the NY Philharmonic and PBS. Other stage work includes Juliet opposite Orlando Bloom with Gustavo Dudamel conducting Tchaikovsky live with the LA Philharmonic.
In addition to the winning the Tony Award, Anika has also received The Theater World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award, a Drama Desk nomination, the Los Angeles Critics’ Circle Award, an Ovation Award and an Obie Award. She has also received NAACP Image nominations for her work on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC), and Hallmark Hall of Fame: Mitch Albom’s Have A Little Faith (ABC).
Anika has sung all over the world, including at the 79th Annual Academy Awards, concerts in London’s West End with Jason Robert Brown, the Vatican, the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. She made her solo cabaret debut in New York as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, followed by a concert at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles and appearances at the legendary Venetian Room in San Francisco. She is the celebrity spokesperson for the American Lung Association and has lobbied on Capitol Hill on their behalf, and started The Cora Lee Bentley Radcliffe memorial Fund, to assist mentally challenged children. She received her MFA from American Conservatory Theater and holds an honorary Doctorate from Florida A&M University.
The Colonial Williamsburg Revolutionary in Residence program is made possible by a grant from the Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, Illinois.