Tonea Stewart is a tenured Professor and the Director of Theatre Arts at Alabama State University (ASU).
Also, she is a professional actress.
After receiving a B.S. degree in Speech and Theatre from Jackson State University and an M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Tonea Stewart completed her Ph.D. in Theatre Arts at Florida State University (FSU) in 1989.
She was the first African American female to receive a doctorate from the FSU School of Theatre and the first McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Theatre Arts.
As an actress, Tonea Stewart is perhaps best known for her reoccurring role in, In the Heat of the Night.
More recently, she
earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her
role in the film adaptation of John Grisham's A time to Kill and The Gold Medal Award for narration of Public Radio Internationals Series "Remembering Slavery.
acting career in 1969 and became the first African American to direct and appear on stage at New Stage Theatre, the most prestigious equity theatre in Mississippi.
Since then, she
has performed on stage in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and throughout the United States, including Carnegie Hall
and the Kennedy Center
, and has appeared on screen and television.
Some notable titles include: Mississippi Burning, Invasion of the Body Snatchers III, Living Large, My Stepson / My Lover, "Walker Texas Ranger," "Matlock," "Leave of Absence," "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "ER" and "Touched by an Angel."
Tonea Stewart is a spokesperson for "One Church, One Child" of Alabama and for NOSAP, a Texas-based organization aimed at youth development.
In 1995, she
was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame
She has honorary doctorates from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa and Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas and has received numerous keys to cities throughout the United States.
Tonea Stewart is a member of the Order of the Golden Circle, a life member of the NAACP, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and is a dedicated member of the Hutchinson Baptist Church.