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A Prince Among Alumni

April 29, 2015

Portrait: Santino Fontana

Portrait: Santino Fontana
Alumnus Santino Fontana (BFA '04 - acting)

The College of Liberal Arts is excited to welcome back alumnus Santino Fontana (BFA 2004 - acting), one of the members of the inaugural class of the U of M/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. Fontana will give the commencement address at both ceremonies on Sunday, May 17, 2015.

After graduating from the U of M, Fontana has gone on to success in Broadway musicals, including originating the role of Tony in Billy Elliot and his Broadway debut in Sunday in the Park with George. But perhaps he is best known for some of his princely roles.

Fontana began his professional career as Shakespeare’s brooding prince Hamlet at the Guthrie Theater, in a production directed by Joe Dowling. Just last year he was nominated for best performance by a leading actor in a musical for playing Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. But an even wider audience probably recognizes him (or at least his voice) for his role as Prince Hans in Disney’s Frozen.

With roles on stage and screen he has developed into a versatile actor. “I like to keep myself on my toes; I like to mix it up,” Fontana says. In an interview last year with Deseret News, he said, “I had a great mentor in college who helped shape me to be the actor and performer and artist that I want to be. He always said, ‘Don’t limit yourself…. Just do what you want to do, and don’t look back and don’t try to define it.’ ”

As a college for people who want to be independent thinkers, innovators in their chosen fields, who create meaning in their life’s work, we can’t help but applaud his amazing talent and the deep thought he brings to his roles.