The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University Present the Excellence in Theatre Education Award
Behind every great performance is inspiration, and behind inspiration is a great teacher.
The 2019 Award
Information on how to submit a teacher for the 2019 award will be posted in the fall of 2018. Check back soon.
The 2018 Winner
The winner of the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award, presented by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University, is Melody Herzfeld of Parkland, Florida. Ms. Herzfeld, a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, received the award at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards on June 10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Melody Herzfeld Drama Teacher Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Parkland, FL.
The Excellence in Theatre Education 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. A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University and other leaders from the theatre industry selected Herzfeld from finalists across the nation. Herzfeld will receive $10,000 for her theatre program and tickets to the Tony Awards and Gala.
We invited memners of the public to submit candidates for the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award by telling the story of a theatre educator who made a difference in your life, and the lives of others. Submissions closed in February. CMU alumnus, actor and producer Zachary Quinto is the 2018 award’s official ambassador and took part in the selection committee.
New in 2018: Master Classes and Pre-College Program Scholarships from Carnegie Mellon
The Tonys and Carnegie Mellon are thrilled to recognize the person or persons who submitted the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education winner. For this year’s award, theatre professionals from Carnegie Mellon will arrange a special master class presentation for the winner’s school or organization.
And, for the first time ever, two students from the theatre program overseen by the winner of the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award will receive full scholarships to the six-week Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama Pre-College Program. The program will introduce students to its internationally acclaimed conservatory program through classes in acting, music theatre, design and production, taught by School of Drama faculty. The selected students will live on campus and take part in university activities and, together with fellow students, prepare for college auditions and interviews. Scholarship winners will be chosen by the winning teacher and/or his/her school.
About the Award
The Excellence in Theatre Education Award, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, is presented each year by the Tony Awards. This honor 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. 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.
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, New York
Jeffrey Erickson Theatre Teacher Robert Frost Elementary School Kirkland, Washington
Tim Fath Director of Theater Operations Miami Children's Theater Miami, Florida
Chip Gallagher Department Chair, Musical Theatre Governor's School for the Arts Norfolk, Virginia
Jasmine Hammond Resident Teaching Artist Walnut Street Theatre Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Isiah Harper Drama Teacher/Fine Arts Department Chair Northside High School Columbus, Georgia
Ron Headrick Adjunct Faculty Music Theater Workshop, Connection Director New World School of the Arts High School Miami, Florida
Kristin Huffman Founder and Artistic Director New Paradigm Theatre Milford, Connecticut
Marie Jagger-Taylor Cultural Arts Director Decatur Park District Decatur, Illinois
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, Maryland
Troy Powell Director of Theater for Union Public Schools Union High School Tulsa, Oklahoma
Matthew Reynolds Director of Drama and Dance Crater Renaissance Academy Central Point, Oregon
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, Nevada
Holly Stanfield Theatre Director/ Educator Mary D. Bradford High School Kenosha, Wisconsin
Janine Nina Trevens Producing Artistic Director & Founder TADA! Youth Theater New York, New York
Zulaika Velazquez Artistic Director George Washington High School New York, New York
Rhonda Wilson Founder/Artistic Director Star Center Children's Theatre Gainesville, Florida
Rachel Harry Hood River, Oregon Drama teacher at Hood River Valley High School.
Learn more about Rachel Harry
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)
Drama Teacher/Director, Cass Technical High School Detroit, MI
Kevin G. Coleman
Director of Education Shakespeare & Company Lenox, MA
Artistic Director Destiny Arts Center Oakland, CA
Mark Accardi 8th Grade Special Education Teacher Montgomery Upper Middle School Skillman, NJ
Beth Baur Teacher Memorial High School West New York, NJ
Dana Brazil Director of Education Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Orlando, FL
Maryjane Burton Competitive Drama Teacher/Drama 1 and 9 Teacher/ Performing Arts Center Director Choctaw High School Choctaw, OK
James Russell Cooper Director of Choirs & Theatre Henry County High School New Castle, KY
Gwendolyn Couch Teacher Chatham Hall Chatham, VA
Harry Dietzler Executive and Artistic Director (Upper Darby Performing Arts Center) and Founder & Executive Director (Upper Darby Summer Stage) Upper Darby, PA
Allison Galker Teacher Edward R. Murrow High School Brooklyn, NY
Rachel Harry Theatre Teacher Hood River Valley High School Hood River, OR
Kevin Hauge Artistic Director Children’s Musical Theater San Jose San Jose, CA
Nancy Lee Director of Arts Programming Washburn High School Minneapolis, MN
Heather Ling Theatre Arts and Speech Teacher Montgomery Junior High School Montgomery, TX
David Montee Instructor of Theatre Interlochen Arts Academy Interlochen, MI
Ryan Olson Bard High School Early College Queens, NY
Toby Orenstein Founder and Artistic Director Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts Columbia, MD
Troy Powell Director of Theatre Union High School Tulsa, OK
Sarah Reinhardt Program Director/Artistic Director Cypress Academy of Performing Arts Houston, TX
Pat Sanders MLS Theatre Company Amherst, OH
Holly Stanfield Teacher Bradford High School/KUSD Theatre Arts Kenosha, WI
Rhonda Wilson Artistic Director/Founder and Media Specialist Star Center Children’s Theatre,Inc. Gainesville, FL
Winner The recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Theatre Education Award was Corey Mitchell, Theater Arts Teacher at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C.
Marianne Adams, Director of Education at the Grandstreet Theatre School in Helena, Montana
Donald Hicken, Theatre Department Director at the Baltimore School for the Arts in Baltimore, Md