SMTD Grads Darren Criss, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Receive Emmy Nominations

Darren CrissBenj Pasek and Justin Paul all graduates of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), have received 2018 Emmy Award nominations.

Darren Criss (BFA ’09, theatre & drama) was nominated as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role as Andrew Cunanan in The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which aired on FX Networks.

Pasek and Paul (BFA ’06, musical theatre) were nominated for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for their score and lyrics to A Christmas Story Live, which aired on FOX. Should Pasek and Paul win the Emmy, they will become the youngest artists to ever become “EGOTs”—winners of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Awards—and will share that distinction with just 12 other individuals, including composers Richard Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Tunick, and Robert Lopez.

The songwriting duo won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Original Score for the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, which also earned them a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. The Academy Award was for “City of Stars,” from La La Land, which was named “Best Original Song” in 2017; the song also won the Golden Globe in the same category.

This is Darren Criss’s first Primetime Emmy nomination. He won a Teen Choice Breakout Star Award for his role on FOX TV’s Glee in 2011, and has twice been named “Favorite Replacement” by for his lead replacement roles in the Broadway musicals How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Other SMTD alumni who have won Emmy Awards include Margo Martindale (BA ’73) and James Earl Jones (BA ’55, HLHD ’71).

The 70th Annual Emmy Awards will be presented live on NBC-TV on Monday, September 17 at 8 p.m.