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Shawn Purdy/Lindsey Brown/Alyson Ahrns/Rachael Trager

Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University Open Submissions for Theatre Education Award

For the Third Year, the “Excellence in Theatre Education Award" Will Honor a Deserving Teacher at the 2017 Tony Awards



NEW YORK & PITTSBURGH – November 16, 2016 – The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will recognize a deserving teacher with the “Excellence in Theatre Education Award” for the third year in a row.

Now through February 10, 2017, submissions are accepted online for K-12 theatre educators at an accredited institution or recognized community theatre organization. Anyone—from students and school administrators, to friends, neighbors and family—can submit a worthy teacher for consideration. He or she must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to and/or includes aspects of theatre education. Submissions can be made at

Last year’s honor was presented to Marilyn McCormick, a drama teacher at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Mich. McCormick’s students, along with colleagues at Cass Technical High School, submitted heartfelt letters, tributes and videos through the application process. McCormick and the Cass Tech students were informed of her selection by a surprise visit to McCormick’s classroom by Renée Elise Goldsberry, a 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her starring role in Broadway’s “Hamilton.” Goldsberry is a CMU alumna and served on last year’s judge’s panel.

"We are thrilled to be able to continue to shine a light on some incredible teachers – whose influence we see on our stages every night. Often times, teachers are the first ones thanked in Tony Awards acceptance speeches," said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League.  "And we look forward to hearing more inspiring stories from around the country for this year’s Excellence in Theatre Education Award.”

“Awarding a deserving teacher with this honor is the highlight of our Tony Awards partnership,” said Daniel J. Martin, Dean, College of Fine Arts at CMU. “It’s rewarding for us to recognize the talents and dedication of teachers who inspire students to express themselves through the creative arts and, in many cases, go on to do great things.”

A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University and other leaders from the theatre industry will select the winner. The winner will receive a cash grant prize for his or her school, flights to New York City, hotel accommodations and a pair of tickets to the 2017 Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala.

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States and celebrated its centennial in 2014. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees, and its alumni have won more than 40 awards to date. During the 2014 live Tony Awards telecast, CMU alumni Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer introduced the educator award initiative.  At the 2015 Tony Awards, CMU alumnus Joe Manganiello announced the Excellence in Theatre Education Award winner; and in 2016, the winner was announced by CMU alumnus Blair Underwood.

The 2017 Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 11th. For more information on the Tony Awards, visit and and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

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About the Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theater Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chairman and Heather A. Hitchens is President. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2017 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2017 Tony Awards.  

Sponsors for the 2016 Tony Awards included:  IBM - developed, designed, and hosts the official Tony Awards digital experience anchored by; Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner; Grant Thornton LLP – official professional services partner ; Nordstrom - official sponsor of Tony Awards Red Carpet and “Live on the Tony Awards Red Carpet Show”; City National – official bank of the Tony Awards and presenting sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards; Porsche Cars North America, Inc., - presenting sponsor of the 2016 Tony Awards Gala; United Airlines – the official airline of the Tony Awards for the last 17 years; Coach – presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Green Room; BroadwayHD – official partner of the Tony Awards and the first-ever Behind the Scenes Livestream; FIJI Water - official water partner of the Tony Awards; La Crema - official wine partner of the Tony Awards; Paramount Hotel - official hotel partner of the Tony Awards; People/Entertainment Weekly – the official magazine partners of the Tony Awards; and additional support provided by Passion Roses.


About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 13,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.