Orange Is the New Black actor Uzo Aduba urged the artists, musicians, and actors who were about to receive their College of Fine Arts diplomas at the CFA Convocation not to let fear of the unknown paralyze them and prevent them from reaching their dreams.
Aduba (CFA’05) was welcomed with enthusiastic applause from the audience of graduates, family, and friends at the Track & Tennis Center Saturday afternoon. She sprinkled her address with memories from her time at BU.
“It wasn’t so long ago that I was waking up at 7:50 in the morning in West Campus and making my way down to CFA for an 8 a.m. ear training and sight-reading class,” said Aduba, who garnered back-to-back Emmys, in 2014 and 2015, for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She reminisced about people-watching at the George Sherman Union and the BU Beach and getting a slice of pizza from T. Anthony’s, much to the delight of the crowd.
The actor’s portrayal of Crazy Eyes also earned her 2015 and 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy as well as two Golden Globe nominations. The show returns for a fifth season on June 9. Aduba has also appeared on the popular CBS series Blue Bloods, and as Glinda the Good Witch in NBC’s 2015 musical production of The Wiz Live! She made her Broadway debut in Coram Boy in 2007, followed by a revival of the musical Godspell in 2011. Her voice will be heard in the upcoming animated film My Little Pony: The Movie, due out this fall.
Before Lynne Allen, CFA dean ad interim, invited Aduba to the podium, she had some words for CFA’s graduates. “These are curious times, unsettled times, and we need artists such as yourselves to carry the torch about why art and culture are …