A photo of two men standing and facing each other staring at each other intensly. The men are also gripping each other's hand.
VCUarts Theatre alumn Joshua Boone, right, has been nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Dallas Winston in the Broadway premiere of “The Outsiders,” based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. (Matthew Murphy, Playbill.com)

Alum and freshly minted Tony Award nominee Joshua Boone to inspire new VCUarts graduates this week

School of the Arts commencement speaker has charted an impressive path in acting since earning his degree in 2010.

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When Joshua Boone takes the Altria Theater stage this week as commencement speaker for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, the alum will have a late addition to his already sparkling résumé: Tony Award nominee.

Boone, who earned his theatre performance degree from VCUarts in 2010, has just been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his portrayal of Dallas in the Broadway adaptation of “The Outsiders,” produced by Angelina Jolie and based on the novel by S.E. Hinton.

“Joshua Boone has grown into an extraordinary and exceptional actor,” said Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D., professor of graduate pedagogy in acting and directing who taught Boone as an undergraduate.

She had quickly identified his exceptional talent and urged him to practice his craft, which he clearly has. “I am so proud of Josh,” she said.

Since graduating from VCUarts, Boone has brought his skill to multiple realms –  from theater, film and television to commercials, voice-overs, modeling and music.

He recently wrapped filming on “Fleeing,” starred with Zora Howard in “Premature” for director Rashaad Ernesto Green (which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival) and appeared in the 2020 indie release “Wheels” for writer/director Paul Starkman.

Boone’s recent stage work includes Dominique Morisseau’s Broadway production of “Skeleton Crew,” starring opposite Phylicia Rashad and Chanté Adams, which earned him a Drama Desk Award nomination in 2022. Before that, he starred in Ivo van Hove’s acclaimed Broadway production of “Network,” opposite Bryan Cranston.

Boone’s other accolades include nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture at the 2023 NAACP Image Awards – both for his lead role in Netflix’s “A Jazzman’s Blues” by Tyler Perry.

Boone will address this year’s VCUarts graduates on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Altria Theater. More information is available on the commencement homepage.