Taye Diggs will no longer spend part of the 2021 spring semester as an artist in residence in theater at MU.
The announcement was made over a month ago that Diggs would be working with students taking classes in a new minor in musical theater.
According to the department, the rescheduling is because Diggs recently resumed filming the CW series “All American,” and network COVID-19 protocols do not allow for travel.
“We’re thrilled to have him coming and very disappointed that it couldn’t happen now,” Dory Colbert, the communications coordinator for the Department of Theater, said.
The department was not expecting to have to reschedule Diggs’ time at MU, but the CW resumed filming for the show somewhat abruptly.
“Now they have the protocols in place for people who are working on the show,” she said. “So suddenly, he was not allowed to go anywhere.”
MU’s Artist in Residence Program launched in the fall of 2019. Residencies vary in length, from a few days or a week or two to those that span a semester or an entire school year. Artists and scholars are paired with programs and activities of the School of Music, School of Visual Studies, the English and theatre departments and the Museum of Art and Archaeology. Diggs is an actor known for his work on Broadway and in TV and film. He made his Broadway debut in 1994 in the ensemble of “Carousel.” He originated the role of landlord Benny in “Rent,” later reprising the role for the film adaptation. He also guest-starred for several seasons in “Will and Grace,” starred in “Private Practice” and starred for three seasons in “Murder in the First.”
Marie Hunter, coordinator of the AIR program, said it is unclear when exactly Diggs will be able to reschedule his residency because of “the constantly changing status of the pandemic and related travel restrictions individuals may have.”
According to his contract, which KOMU 8 obtained through a public records request, MU would pay Diggs $30,000 for four events where he will speak and interact with students. The contract also covers $5,000 in travel fees for the actor.
“We hope that next fall or spring, whenever he’s got another break in his production, that we can get him on campus with our students,” Colbert said.