UCSC alumnus in theater arts nominated for Emmy Award in television writing


UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts former Ashley Nicole Black is on a roll.

The 36-year-old comedian has the distinction of being nominated twice in the same television writing category for the upcoming 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Black was nominated for “Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series” for both The Amber Ruffin Show and A black lady sketch show.

She is one of only three people to have been nominated twice in this category in the past five years. The other two are actor / comedian John Mulaney and late night host and former Saturday Night Live chief writer, Seth Meyers.

On HBO A black lady sketch show, Black doesn’t just write skits, she also has a starring role as a core cast member.

The show’s creator, Robin Thede, recently told the New York Times that she considers Black to be “a force of nature and comedy,” adding, “I have been fortunate enough to work with her as a writer and performer and I know firsthand how ridiculously she is. good in both… an indelible mark on this industry.

From her perspective, Black described herself to Time as “someone who observes what is going on in the world and tries to reflect it to people”. “For me,” she said, “it’s art.

Black graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2007 with a Diploma in Theater Arts. She started a doctoral program in performance studies at Northwestern University, but left early to begin her acting career in Chicago’s famed Second City.

She performed with various groups in the theater, including its Diversity & Outreach program, and began teaching comedy writing at the Second City Training Center. She also started performing in the city and created a showcase for her fellow up-and-coming writers and performers.

In 2016, Black moved to New York and spent three years as a correspondent for the TBS show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, winning an Emmy in 2017 for his work on the “Not the White House Correspondents Dinner” program. Overall, she has been nominated eight times for an Emmy as a TV Writer for a Special or Variety Series.

In addition to working on both the The Amber Ruffin Show and A black lady sketch show, Black also joined the writing team for the second season of the comedy series Apple TV +, Ted lasso, which just received 20 Emmy nominations. She recently told the Hollywood news site Golden Derby that the show’s positive spirit helped her through the peak of her forties.

“It’s cool because you work with people – that’s true on all three of these shows – and you watch them put their whole heart into something because they want to affect people,” Black said. “It’s really meaningful to see them rediscover that love with all the big nominations.”

The 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on September 19, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and CBS.


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