The University of Virginia President’s Speaker Series for the Arts will present award-winning writer, actor, producer, and noted UVA alumna Tina Fey on April 23 at 3 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena. Fey, who inaugurated the series in 2013, will participate in an onstage conversation moderated by UVA President Jim Ryan.
Fey continues to be celebrated for creating and inhabiting the iconic Liz Lemon character from “30 Rock,” which Fey also co-wrote and co-executive produced. The series earned 16 Emmys and is the record-holder for the most Emmy nominations in one season for any comedy series. The show received 103 Emmy nominations over seven seasons on NBC.
Prior to creating “30 Rock,” Fey completed nine seasons as a writer and cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” She has continued to co-create, and executive produce hit shows such as “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Great News,” “Mr. Mayor,” and “Girls5eva.” Additional film credits include “Mean Girls,” “Baby Mama,” “Date Night,” “Sisters,” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” among others. She also recently starred as a featured voice in Disney/Pixar’s Oscar-winning animated film “Soul.”
In addition, Fey had memorable roles in Prime Video’s “Modern Love” and most recently was featured in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” with Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez. In 2011, Fey published her first book, “Bossypants,” which topped the New York Times best-seller list. The book also received a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word Album.
Fey is developing the big-screen, musical adaptation of her cult classic film and Tony-nominated Broadway musical version of “Mean Girls: The Musical.” Fey has several projects in development under her production banner, Little Stranger.
The UVA President’s Speaker for the Arts Series is returning for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tina Fey’s visit is the perfect way to celebrate the return of the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts, a series she helped launch a decade ago,” Ryan said. “Tina is an extraordinarily talented and influential actor, writer and comic. She’s also one of UVA’s most recognizable and beloved alumni, and I’m very much looking forward to what’s sure to be a memorable conversation.”
“We could not think of a better way to bring this series back than to celebrate its beginning with one of the most talented and successful figures in the entertainment industry today,” said UVA Vice Provost for the Arts and Virginia Film Festival Director Jody Kielbasa. “We look forward to hearing Tina’s stories of her career as well as about her life here on Grounds, where she was an important member of the UVA Drama community, including a starring turn as Sally Bowles in the classic musical ‘Cabaret.’”
The timing, Kielbasa said, is perfect, as the Virginia Theatre Festival is set to start its upcoming summer season with the musical beginning on July 7 at the Culbreth Theatre.
The event will also feature a performance by K-Edge, a K-pop interest dance group at the University. The group aims to spread an appreciation for Korean music and culture through its charismatic performances and video projects found on its YouTube channel @K-Edge Dance Crew and Instagram @kedgedance. K-Edge will be followed by the Cavalier Marching Band, which has built a reputation for its highly energetic and crowd-pleasing performances. The band will help welcome Fey and Ryan to the stage with a celebratory procession through JPJ.
General Admission tickets are free and available today through April 21 at the following locations:
- UVA Arts Box Office (in person, Tuesday-Friday from noon to 5 p.m. Closed during Spring Break: March 7-10)
- Newcomb Information Desk (in person, every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed during Spring Break: March 4-12)
- John Paul Jones Arena Box Office (in person, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., day of event opens at noon)
- Online: ticketmaster.com (note that Ticketmaster fees will apply – available starting at 10 a.m.).
Tickets are limited to one per student and two for members of the community, UVA staff and faculty at the box offices, and up to four may be acquired online. The JPJ Box Office will open at noon on April 23, for tickets and will call. Doors will open at 2 p.m. that day, and the John Paul Jones Arena clear bag policy will be in effect. Full details can be found at arts.virginia.edu/tinafey.
The President’s Speaker Series for the Arts brings global leaders in the arts to speak about the value, meaning and impact of the arts on education, the nation and world. Bryan Cranston came to JPJ Arena in the Spring of 2017. More recently, Leslie Odom Jr. spoke to over 2,700 UVA students, faculty, staff and community members in January 2019.
The President’s Speaker Series for the Arts is presented by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation and supported by the offices of the President and the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Vice Provost for the Arts, and UVA Arts.