Dean, College of Visual & Performing Arts
Known for her roles in big screen films “A Time to Kill” “Mississippi Burning,” and the television series “In the Heat of the Night,” Dr. Tommie Tonea Stewart is the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University. Dr. Stewart previously served as chair of ASU's Theatre Arts Department.
The Greenwood, Miss., native received her B.S in Speech and Theatre from Jackson State University and her M.A in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1989 she completed her Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from Florida State University, becoming the first African-American female to receive a doctorate from the FSU School of Theatre Arts.
ASU’s Theatre Arts Department has flourished under Dr. Stewart’s leadership, become one of the most recognized and successful programs on our campus – and in the nation.
Her students, affectionately known as “Dr. Stewart’s Kids,” can be seen during a variety of ASU events, on stage in the Leila Barlow Theatre or at university-wide convocations. Whether performing Shakespeare, dancing to choreography, or singing in musicals, the students of the theatre warm the hearts of students, alumni and the surrounding community.
Under Dr. Stewart’s leadership and mentorship, students in the program have gone on to attend prestigious institutions like Brown and Yale University, and have been cast in a host of film, television and stage productions.
Dr. Stewart holds three widely popular annual summer performance and enrichment camps to introduce the next generation of actors, directors and set design artists to the performing arts.
She is a member of the Order of The Golden Circle, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., and the Hutchinson Baptist Church in Montgomery.