The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® Presented By:
Presented By:
Education Award Tony Award
Excellence Award

EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE EDUCATION AWARD

PRESENTED BY

Excellence in Theatre Education Award

Behind every great performance is inspiration, and behind inspiration is a great teacher.

Leslie Odom Jr. and Josh Groban talk about theatre education at the 74th annual Tony Awards, September 26, 2021. With the logo for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
Leslie Odom Jr. (left) and Josh Groban talk about theatre education at the 74th annual Tony Awards, September 26, 2021.
Photo by Getty Images for Tony Award Productions

Submissions are now open for the 2022 Award.

The Tony Awards® and Carnegie Mellon University are looking for the teachers who create the next generation of theatre artists. These dedicated professionals discover talented students, nurture them, inspire them and set them off on a lifelong journey as theatre supporters and professionals.

#ApplaudMyTeacher

THE EXCELLENCE IN THEATRE EDUCATION AWARD

Tell us the story of a theatre teacher who has changed someones life.

Each year we invite members of the public to submit candidates for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award by telling the story of a theatre educator who made a difference in their life, and the lives of others.

The award recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. The winning teacher will be recognized on the Tony Awards telecast on CBS. The award comes with a grant of $10,000 for the teacher's theatre program, and tickets for the winner to attend the Tony Awards ceremony and Gala.

Billy Porter on Theatre Teachers

The Tony Award-winner and Carnegie Mellon alum talks about the importance of arts education.

MASTER CLASSES FROM CARNEGIE MELLON

The Tonys and Carnegie Mellon will recognize the person or persons who submitted the Excellence in Theatre Education winner with an additional prize: Theatre professionals from Carnegie Mellon will arrange a special master class presentation for the winner’s school or organization, or an equivalent student experience to be determined by Carnegie Mellon.

HOW TO SUBMIT A CANDIDATE

Give the ultimate thank-you to the teacher who inspired you by proposing them for the Award! See below for deadlines, eligibility, and application requirements.

SUBMIT YOUR CANDIDATE HERE

Need Help?

Questions: Visit our Award FAQ page.

Rules: View our complete rules.

Deadline – January 31, 2022

Email: If you have questions about your application, please email us.

ELIGIBILITY

We invite members of the public to submit candidates for the Education Award. Your candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The candidate must be a current, living teacher at an accredited K-12 institution, or reputable theatre organization, located within the U.S.
  • They must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to, or includes aspects of, theatre education.
  • Self-submissions will not be accepted.

See requirements and deadline information below.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

For an educator to be considered a candidate for the award, applicants must submit the following materials by the deadline listed below:

  • Online Submission Form: A completed online submission form, including name and contact information for your candidate.
  • Photo: A color or black & white digital photo of the teacher.
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference Letters may be submitted by any individual including, but not limited to, a colleague in the candidate’s school, an academic adviser or current supervisor, a former student, or a community leader. However, the letter cannot be submitted by the candidate themselves.
  • Video: Make a video that tells us your teacher’s story. You must submit a video to demonstrate why the candidate has a compelling story, and has gone above and beyond in the field of theatre education. For example, describe how the candidate has made a difference in the life of a student, school, or community; or how they are working to advance and champion theatre education in today’s landscape.

Video Guidelines

  • Videos may not exceed three minutes in duration.
  • Video must be in MOV, AVI or WMV format, minimum resolution 320x240.

Who Can Submit

  • We will accept submissions from students (for a current/past teacher) or from other individuals (submit a teacher you know as a candidate for the award).
  • Self-submissions will not be accepted.

SUBMIT YOUR CANDIDATE HERE

RE-SUBMITTING CANDIDATES FROM PAST YEARS

If you submitted a candidate for the 2020 award, you may resubmit the exact same application with no edits for the 2022 award by emailing us.

You may also update a previously submitted application from a prior year. Please note:

  • In order to resubmit with edits for this year, you must log on to the system to access your previously submitted 2020 application. At your discretion, please copy/paste any fields or attachments that you would like to reuse into a new 2022 application in order to re-submit your candidate with updated information.
  • The candidate must meet the 2022 eligibility requirements.

DEADLINE

The deadline to submit a teacher and begin an application is 12:01 P.M. ET ON MONDAY, JANUARY 31, 2022. There is a one-week grace period for applicants to complete their applications by submitting all missing application materials, including required letters of recommendation.

SUBMIT YOUR CANDIDATE HERE

ABOUT THE AWARD

The Excellence in Theatre Education Award, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, is presented each year by the Tony Awards. A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University and other leaders from the theatre industry selects the winner, based on candidates submitted by members of the public.

#ApplaudMyTeacher

PAST WINNERS

2019 Winner

Madeline Michel

Madeline Michel

Theater Director

Monticello High School

Charlottesville, Va.

2019 Honorable Mentions

Heather Arters

Theatre Director/Educator,
Garnet Valley High School
Glen Mills, Pa.

Beth Baur

Theatre Teacher
Memorial High School
West New York, N.J.

Kell Christie Gary

Theatre Teacher
Houston High School
Germantown, Tenn.

David Connelly

Director of Acting/Musical Theater Program
North East School of the Arts
San Antonio, Tex.

Sarah Crowell

Artistic Director
Destiny Arts Center
Oakland, Calif.

Allison Galker

Costume Designer/Teacher- Technical Theatre
Edward R. Murrow High School
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rick Garcia

Drama Teacher
St. Andrew's Episcopal School
Austin, Tex.

Carrie Harrell

Drama Teacher
Hedgepeth Williams Middle School of the Arts
Trenton, N.J.

Jennifer Hemme

Theatre Teacher and Director
Green Valley High School
Henderson, Nev.

Cathy Hickman

Theater/ASB Teacher
Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School
San Diego, Calif.

Alison Hoffmann

Theatre Teacher/ Director
Wallenpaupack Area High School
Hawley, Pa.

Sinjin Jones

Arts Director
DSST Green Valley Ranch High School
Denver, Colo.

Linda Ames Key

Drama Teacher and Work Based Learning Coordinator
Fordham High School for the Arts
Bronx, N.Y.

Nancy Lee

Choir Director/Fine Arts Coordinator
Washburn High School
Minneapolis, Minn.

Donzell Lewis

Theater Teaching Artist
P.S. Arts
Los Angeles, Calif.

Joshua Long

Drama Teacher/Director
Hillcrest High School
Midvale, Utah

Kyle Pleasant

Resident Director/Choreographer
Professional Performing Arts School
New York, N.Y.

Troy Powell

Director of Theatre
Union High School
Tulsa, Okla.

A. Lorraine Robinson

Senior Director of Programs
Sitar Arts Center
Washington, D.C.

Torrey Russell

Founder and President
Broadway in the H.O.O.D.
Las Vegas, Nev.

Joseph Sniegocki

Theatre Teacher
Harrison School for the Arts/ Lakeland Senior High
Lakeland, Fla.

Hisa Takakuwa

Head of Conservatory
South Coast Repertory
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Christa Whittaker

Teacher/Director of Theatre Department
Fort Walton Beach High School
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

Yvonne Wright

Theatre Arts Teacher
New Millenium Bronx Arts Academy
Bronx, N.Y.

Jason Zembuch-Young

Theatre Teacher and Director
South Plantation High School
Plantation, Fla.

2018 Winner

Melody Herzfeld

Melody Herzfeld

Drama Teacher

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Parkland, FL.

2018 Honorable Mentions

Jasmine Bucher

Musical Director
Palmyra Area High School
Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Jamie Cacciola-Price

Theatre Director/Educator
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts
Queens, New York

Sarah Crowell

Artistic Director
Destiny Arts Center
Oakland, California

Ward Dales

Theater/Drama Teacher
Albany High School
Albany, NY

Jeffrey Erickson

Theatre Teacher
Robert Frost Elementary School
Kirkland, Washington

Tim Fath

Director of Theater Operations
Miami Children'ts Theater
Miami, Florida

Chip Gallagher

Department Chair, Musical Theatre
Governor's School for the Arts
Norfolk, VA

Jamine Hammond

Resident Teaching Artist
Walnut Street Theatre
Philadelphia, PA

Isiah Harper

Drama Teacher/Fine Arts Department Chair
Northside High School
Columbus, GA

Ron Headrick

Adjunct Faculty Music Theatre Workshop
Connection Director
New World School of the Arts High School
Miami, FL

Kristin Hoffman

Founder and Artistic Director
New Paradigm Theatre
Milford, CT

Marie Jagger-Taylor

Cultural Arts Director
Decatur Park District
Decatur, IL

Nancy Lee

Producing Artistic Director
Washburn High School
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Michael Maguire

Theatre Director/ Educator
Morristown High School Theatre
Morristown, New Jersey

Lisa Okikawa

Theatre Teacher
West Orange County Consortium for Special Education
Huntington Beach, California

Toby Orenstein

Founder and Artistic Director
The Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts
Columbia, MD

Troy Powell

Director of Theater
Union Public Schools
Union High School
Tulsa, OK

Matthew Reynolds

Director of Drama and Dance
Crater Renaissance Academy
Central Point, OR

A. Lorraine Robinson

Senior Director of Programs
Sitar Arts Center
Washington, DC

Torrey Russell

Artistic Director
A Source of Joy Theatricals/Broadway in the HOOD
Las Vegas, NV

Holly Stanfield

Theatre Director/Educator
Mary D. Bradford High School
Kenosha, WI

Janine Nina Trevens

Producing Artistic Director & Founder
TADA! Youth Theatre
New York, NY

Zulaika Velazquez

Artistic Director
George Washington High School
New York, NY

Rhonda Wilson

Founder/Artistic Director
Star Center Children's Theatre
Gainsville, FL

Jason Zembuch

Director of Theatre Arts
South Plantation High School
Plantation, FL

2017 Winner

Rachel “Krum” Harry

RachelKrum Harry

Theatre Arts

Hood River Valley High School

Hood River, OR

2017 Honorable Mentions

Beth Baur

Teacher
Memorial High School
West New York, NJ

Hugh Copeland

Founder and Artistic Director
The Hurrah Players, Inc.
Norfolk, VA

Sarah Crowell

Artistic Director
Destiny Arts Center at Destiny Arts Center
Oakland, CA

Carl Dickerson

Fine Arts Teacher
Sky Harbour Elementary Dolphin Drama
San Antonio, TX

David Green

Director
Musical Theatre University
Rancho Mirage, CA

Edmond Guay

Teacher
Avondale High School - Avondale Theatre Company
Auburn Hills MI

Sylvia Haynie

Director of Theater
Stratford Academy
Macon, GA

Erica Heilmann

Theatre Arts/English Teacher (Drama Director and Choreographer)
Thornton Fractional South High School
(affiliated with Oak Lawn Community Theatre)
Lansing, IL

Nancy Lee

Producing Artistic Director
Washburn High School Performing Arts Department at Washburn High School
Minneapolis, MN

Jessica Lisboa

Theatre Teacher
North Star Academy
Newark, NJ

Ana Mederos Blanco

Drama Teacher
Coral Reef Senior High School
Miami, FL

Toby Orenstein

Founder and Artistic Director
Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts
Columbia, MD

Cheryl Penland

Theatre Arts Teacher/Fine Arts Department Chair
Trimble Tech High School
Fort Worth, TX

Troy Powell

Union Public Schools Director of Theater
Union High School
Tulsa, OK

A. Lorraine Robinson

Senior Director of Programs
Sitar Arts Center
Washington, DC

Larry Robinson

Drama Teacher
Central Academy of Technology and Arts
Monroe, NC

Greg Shaw

Theatre Teacher
Pittsburg High School
Pittsburg, KS

Wendell Tabb

Teacher
Hillside High School
Durham, NC

Betty Walpert

Theater Director and Teacher
Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School
Augusta, GA

Rhonda Wilson

Artistic Director
Star Center Children's Theatre, Inc
Gainesville, FL

2016 Winner

Shevett Studios
Marilyn McCormick

Drama Teacher/Director,
Cass Technical High School
Detroit, MI

2016 Finalists and Honorable Mentions

Kevin G. Coleman

Finalist
Director of Education
Shakespeare & Company
Lenox, MA

Sarah Crowell

Finalist
Artistic Director
Destiny Arts Center
Oakland, CA

Mark Accardi

Honorable Mention
8th Grade Special Education Teacher
Montgomery Upper Middle School
Skillman, NJ

Beth Baur

Honorable Mention
Teacher
Memorial High School
West New York, NJ

Dana Brazil

Honorable Mention
Director of Education
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Orlando, FL

Maryjane Burton

Honorable Mention
Competitive Drama Teacher/Drama 1 and 9 Teacher/
Performing Arts Center Director
Choctaw High School
Choctaw, OK

James Russell Cooper

Honorable Mention
Director of Choirs & Theatre
Henry County High School
New Castle, KY

Gwendolyn Couch

Honorable Mention
Teacher
Chatham Hall
Chatham, VA

Harry Dietzler

Honorable Mention
Executive and Artistic Director
Upper Darby Performing Arts Center
and Founder & Executive Director
Upper Darby Summer Stage
Upper Darby, PA

Allison Galker

Honorable Mention
Teacher
Edward R. Murrow High School
Brooklyn, NY

Rachel Harry

Honorable Mention
Theatre Teacher
Hood River Valley High School
Hood River, OR

Kevin Hauge

Honorable Mention
Artistic Director
Children’s Musical Theater San Jose
San Jose, CA

Nancy Lee

Honorable Mention
Director of Arts Programming
Washburn High School
Minneapolis, MN

Heather Ling

Honorable Mention
Theatre Arts and Speech Teacher
Montgomery Junior High School
Montgomery, TX

David Montee

Honorable Mention
Instructor of Theatre
Interlochen Arts Academy
Interlochen, MI

Ryan Olson

Honorable Mention
Bard High School Early College
Queens, NY

Toby Orenstein

Honorable Mention
Founder and Artistic Director
Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts
Columbia, MD

Troy Powell

Honorable Mention
Director of Theatre
Union High School
Tulsa, OK

Sarah Reinhardt

Honorable Mention
Program Director/Artistic Director
Cypress Academy of Performing Arts
Houston, TX

Pat Sanders

Honorable Mention
MLS Theatre Company
Amherst, OH

Holly Stanfield

Honorable Mention
Teacher
Bradford High School/KUSD Theatre Arts
Kenosha, WI

Rhonda Wilson

Honorable Mention
Artistic Director/Founder and Media Specialist
Star Center Children’s Theatre,Inc.
Gainesville, FL

2015 Winner

Corey Mitchell

Theater Arts Teacher

Northwest School of the Arts

Charlotte, N.C.

2015 Finalists

Marianne Adams

Director of Education
Grandstreet Theatre School
Helena, Montana

Donald Hicken

Theatre Department Director
Baltimore School for the Arts
Baltimore, MD