Tina Fey Speaks at UVA President’s Speaker Series for the Arts
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Tina Fey Speaks at UVA President’s Speaker Series for the Arts

Tina Fey was a guest for a second time at UVA President’s Speaker Series for the Arts last night (April 23). While no footage from the event has been released, you can read more about how it went below and check out pictures in the gallery!


University of Virginia alumna Tina Fey was greeted with a standing ovation as she jogged up a small set of stairs to the John Paul Jones Arena stage Sunday.

For the second time in 10 years, Fey served as the guest in the President’s Speaker Series for the Arts. Fey was the first guest when the series launched in 2013. The conversation Sunday, moderated by President Jim Ryan, highlighted the importance of the arts at the University and in society.

Before the show began, Fey spoke with current members of the First Year Players, a UVA thespian organization founded in 1977 that only casts first-year students in acting roles, but welcomes students of all years to participate in productions. It was after joining the First Year Players during her first year at UVA that Fey realized she wanted to major in drama.

“It’s a joke that [First Year Players] have that ‘We know Tina Fey,’ but we were all so shocked that we were able to meet her,” third-year College of Arts & Sciences student Kathleen McNerney, a member of the First Year Players, said.

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Emmy award-winning actress, comedian, writer and producer and University of Virginia alumna Elizabeth Stamatina “Tina” Fey hopped in the big red chair that is familiar to the University of Virginia President’s Speaker Series for the Arts at John Paul Jones Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Fey is best known for her role as head writer and costar of Saturday Night Life as well as co-star and co-writer of the hit sitcom, which earned 16 Emmys and holds the record for most Emmy nominations in one season for any comedy series. She received 103 Emmy nominations over seven seasons on NBC.

As a woman in comedy, Fey recalled a period of time when she was almost always the only woman in the room.

Today, she said she’s grateful that social media has grown the once-small group of comedians who make it to the big screen.

“People can make their own content and, for once, there are fewer barriers to saying what you want to say,” Fey told UVa President Jim Ryan and the audience that packed the arena. “You don’t have to necessarily get hired by a bunch of men to just get on the screen and make content.

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