Ruben Santiago-Hudson is a Tony Award-winning actor, an accomplished writer/director with three Obie awards. In addition to an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination he received numerous accolades for his screenplay of HBO’s Lackawanna Blues. Most recently he received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director Of A Play for his Tony Award winning revival of August Wilson’s JITNEY. Which also garnered Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and NY Drama Critic Circle awards along with 6 Tony Award nominations. Ruben received the 2013 Lucille Lortel and Obie Award for Best Direction of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and in 2016 an Obie Award for Special Citations: Collaboration of the play Skeleton Crew with playwright Dominique Morriseau. Ruben recently stared in BET series The Quad and made his television directorial debut. He recurs in Showtime’s hit series Billions opposite Damian Lewis and also on OWN’s new David Makes Man alongside Phylicia Rashad.
Ruben made his Broadway acting debut in Jelly’s Last Jam, opposite Gregory Hines. He originated the role of Canewell in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, which earned him several awards including Broadways most prestigious award, the Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Featured Actor in a Play. Other Broadway credits include Lydia Diamond’s Stickfly produced by Alecia Keys and August Wilson’s Gem Of The Ocean.
Santiago-Hudson co-starred for three seasons as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery on the hit ABC series, Castle. Ruben starred in AMC’s gritty crime drama Low Winter Sun based on the 2006 British mini-series. His screenplay debut Lackawanna Blues for HBO, received the Humanitas Prize, a Christopher Award, National Board of Review Honors, a NAACP Image Award; and Emmy, Golden Globe and WGA nominations. Under the artistic leadership of George C. Wolfe, the Public Theater/NY Shakespeare Festival originally commissioned Lackawanna Blues as a solo performance piece. Santiago-Hudson performed the play bringing to life over two dozen characters garnering his first OBIE award. Working with the Public Theatre again in the summer of 2010, Santiago-Hudson starred as King Leontes in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of A Winter’s Tale. This past summer Ruben directed Othello at The Delacorte Theater for the NY Shakespeare Festival.
On film Santiago-Hudson starred opposite Denzel Washington and Russell Crow in American Gangster, opposite Halle Berry in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft, Al Pacino in Devil’s Advocate, and John Travolta in Domestic Disturbance. On television he portrayed famed chemist Dr. Percy Julian in Forgotten Genius and starred opposite Gregory Hines in The Red Sneakers. Ruben’s other feature films and mini-series include Selma, American Tragedy with Christopher Plummer, Solomon and Sheba with Jimmy Smits and Halle Berry — the first time a biblical movie starred actors of color, and opposite Christopher Reeve in Rear Window. Other TV credits include a series regular role on Michael Hayes, and TNT’s Public Morals recurring roles on The West Wing, Law & Order and numerous guest star appearances incl. ABC’s political drama Designated Survivor.
This season, Ruben directed Dominique Morriseau’s Paradise Blue at The Signature Theater off-broadway,. He also helmed the world premiere of Paradise Blue for The Williamstown Theater Festival. Other select Theater credits include Cabin In The Sky for ENCORES! at NY City Center and his own Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine for The Two
River Theater Company, Naomi Wallace’s Things Of Dry Hours at the NY Theater Workshop, The Happiest Song Plays Last at Second Stage Theater, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer and Athol Fugards My Children! My Africa! all for The Signature Theater Company, where Santiago-Hudson held the position of Associate Artist.
August Wilson’s American Century Cycle was recorded at The Green Space NYC in September of 2013. Ruben served as Artistic Director of dramatic readings of all 10 plays for live audiences which aired on NY Public Radio. He directed Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Jitney and The Piano Lesson and performed in Fences and Seven Guitars in that series.
Santiago-Hudson received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Buffalo State College in 2006 and from Wayne State University in 2015. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and an honorary Master’s from A.C.T. in San Francisco, a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University. Other Awards and honors include Dramalogue, Clarence Derwent, Glen G. Bartle Award from SUNY Binghamton, Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State University, five Audelco Awards, Black Filmmaker’s Award, a Helen Hayes Award, a N.A.M.I.C. Award, and an HBO Comedy Arts Festival Theater Award. Santiago-Hudson received a NAACP Lifetime Achievement Theatre Award at the Los Angeles NAACP Theatre Awards in August 2009.
In 2014 The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center opened in his hometown of Lackawanna, NY. Ruben is the driving force of this dream project which teaches young people the transformative power of the arts.