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Alumni Spotlight: Tiffany Francès (Hubbard)

-Graduate of Detroit School of Arts (D.S.A) High School - Class of 2014

-Current Occupation: Actress

Before ‘Tiffany Francès’ name ever appeared in a Broadway playbill, the little girl from the city’s west side had one goal in life– to attend the Detroit School of Arts. As a longtime performing arts student, she was inspired to follow in the footsteps of many of her older peers from the Detroit Windsor Dance Academy as well as the late singer & Detroit legend Aaliyah. Tiffany was so determined to follow the same path that she didn’t even bother to apply to any of the other DPSCD schools because DSA was the only place she wanted to be!

Tiffany’s Reaction To Being Accepted Into DSA

“OMG, I was so excited. I still remember getting my letter in the mail. We had to audition to get in and it took a while before I found out if I got in. When I finally received my acceptance letter, I just remember being so excited. It made my entire day! I also thought about all the people who had come before me, who I really looked up to and how I'd be walking in their footsteps and seeing them at school. I knew that I was going to be around people who were like minded and no longer the weird kid anymore.

Finally, I thought to myself that I would really be able to walk the same hallways in a school that Aaliyah once did as a student herself!

Aaliyah’s Impact On Tiffany Francès Is ‘One In A Million’ 

“I think just looking at TV seeing a fellow young brown woman, especially from the inner city like myself ‘making it out’. To see & hear about how other D.S.A. alumni got to dance in her music videos during that time was just so iconic to me because you didn't really see that when you turned on your TV. Aaliyah had her own fresh look, sound and talent. I felt like it was more realistic to someone like me who saw that everyday just walking down the street. She was so young yet confident coming into the industry. I think that impact alone just made me want to like, be more expressive and not worry about the limits society puts on us. Even being a young kid when she tragically passed in 2001, Aaliyah left quite a legacy on me!”

On Broadway…Representing Motown & More!

Tiffany knew that her first visit to Broadway to see the play ‘Annie’ while a student at D.S.A. would not be the last time. However, she never imagined her debut on the Broadway stage in 2020 would allow her the opportunity to tell one of her hometown’s richest stories through the journey of Motown legends, The Temptations. Tiffany snagged the role of ‘Josephine’ in the Tony Award-Winning play, Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations based on the book by fellow DPSCD grad  Dominique Morisseau (s/o to Cass Tech).

“I think it was surreal to get the call.  I was speechless. I had grown up passing the Motown Museum daily on my way to dance school right across the street. I also performed there for Christmas with other DSA students. So to remember that little girl who was sitting on the 6th floor at DSA overlooking our city or walking home daily down 7 mile with my Broadway dreams, I felt like I had finally arrived! I dreamt of this for so long and to now be here telling a story about my hometown. I never had so much pride in my life!”

Tiffany also has been blessed to work as a paid actress living in New York City starring in The Harder They Come Off Broadway at The Public Theatre, having regional credits in HAIR!, Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, Memphis, & Smokey Joe's Cafe and going on the road for ‘Ain’t Too Proud’ national tour across the country playing ‘Josephine’ again for sold out audiences.

Tiffany’s Words To Any Aspiring Creative in DPSCD

Tiffany wants current DPSCD students to know they have to “take it seriously from the start”. Growing up as creative, she was always finding programs & events on her own and just handing her mom a permission slip to sign before jumping on the bus to her next learning opportunity.

“Theater is an industry that is not accessible to everyone. You have to find it on your own and it won’t fall in your lap. You have to do your own research and may not always see yourself on the stage. You can find yourself stuck and your family may tell you to have a plan B quite often. You may not be able to get to New York so you have to create your own space. Use your imagination and take advantage of YouTube. Go to the public library to read the plays you cannot find online. Connect with mentors, behind the scenes staff and programs like Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, the Detroit Windsor Dance Academy or the Detroit Repertory Theatre.”