UT Dallas Lecturer to Star in ‘Law & Order’ Episode
Mar. 4, 2010
Actor and UT Dallas lecturer Akin Babatunde will appear in the two-part season premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, set to air Tuesday, March 30, at 9 p.m. CST on the USA Network.
In the episode, he plays a Somalian sheik whose life is threatened by his son.
Babatunde received a master’s degree in arts and humanities from The University of Texas at Dallas, where he now teaches theater to undergraduate students. Many of his students are engineering and science majors, and Babatunde insists that his specialty is just as scientific. “I give them words like ‘sense memory’ and ‘substitution’ and ‘transition,’ and they realize that there’s a science to the theater.”
Babatunde grew up in lower-income housing projects in New York City, and says, “Theater saved me.” He was discovered by Ellen Stewart, who nurtured his acting gift at her La MaMa Experimental Theater Company in New York.
Working steadily since the mid-’70s, Babatunde is an accomplished actor, director and writer for both stage and screen. He was performing his off-Broadway bio-musical, Blind Lemon Blues, when producers from Law & Order saw him, called his agent and asked him to audition.
Although he has had much success in New York theater circles, Babatunde prefers to make Dallas his artistic base, where he has “space to breathe and be creative.” And stay busy: He is directing the August Wilson play Gem of the Ocean at the Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth and will be touring in a one-man show starting in June.
He is also the theater consultant for the Dallas Independent School District and an artist-in-residence at Southside on Lamar, where he also puts on various performances throughout the year.