Classically trained, award-winning actor, Viola Davis has conquered every medium from stage to television to film. From her Tony Award-winning performances in King Hedley II and Fences to her Academy Award nominated performances in The Help and Doubt, Viola has burst through every barrier to become one of the most accomplished and celebrated actors today.…
Classically trained, award-winning actor, Viola Davis has conquered every medium from stage to television to film. From her Tony Award-winning performances in King Hedley II and Fences to her Academy Award nominated performances in The Help and Doubt, Viola has burst through every barrier to become one of the most accomplished and celebrated actors today.
She most recently became the first African American woman to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series for her role as ‘Annalise Keating’ in Shonda Rhimes’s ABC drama How to Get Away with Murder. Her role also earned her two Screen Actors Guild Awards, an NAACP Image Award and two Golden Globe nominations.
In The Help, Davis captivated audiences and critics alike with her portrayal of ‘Aibileen Clark.’ Set in Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1960’s, the film chronicles the relationship between three different and extraordinary women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. Davis earned a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Critics’ Choice Award, and was also nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and British Academy Film Award. Other notable film roles include Blackhat, Get On Up, Prisoner, Beautiful Creatures, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Eat Pray Love.
Rising out of “the absolute epitome of poverty,” Viola fell in love with theater early in high school as a form of escape. Her passion and growing abilities for acting would pay off with a full scholarship to the Young People’s School of the Performing Arts before attending the prestigious Julliard School for four years. In 1996, Viola hit the acting trifecta by earning roles on Broadway (Seven Guitars), TV (NYPD Blue), and film (The Substance of Fire).
Equally passionate is Viola’s dedication to ensure that “women of color are part of the narrative,” on all artistic platforms. On raising the profiles and stories of young women of color, Viola says, “I want to do what Cicely Tyson did to me… she allowed me to have the visual of what it means to dream.” It’s this type of ideology and commitment that Time saw when they named Viola as one of the “Most Influential People of 2012.”
From the lectern, Viola discusses her career and how overcoming adversities and preconceived restrictions have all contributed to reinforcing her abilities as an artist and becoming a stronger woman.
Viola was most recently seen in Fences from Paramount Picture. The film is starring, directed and produced by Denzel Washington and is adapted from August Wilson’s play. Davis also starred with Washington in the 2010 revival of the play on Broadway. Her portrayal of ‘Rose Maxson’ brought her a Tony Award, as well as the Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. Fences was also honored with the Tony Award for “Best Play Revival” and was the most profitable theater production of the year. The film has garnered stellar reviews.
Viola currently resides in Los Angeles.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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