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Note: this is an archival article. For current information on the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, visit

CMU Alumnus Zachary Quinto Announced as National Ambassador 


The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will once again recognize an exemplary teacher with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, to be presented at the 2018 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10, 2018. CMU alumnus, actor and producer Zachary Quinto will serve as the award’s official ambassador and will take part in the selection committee. 

Now through February 23, 2018, submissions will be 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 here via

Since 2014, the Excellence in Theatre Education Award has been bestowed annually at the Tony Awards. Last year’s honor was presented to Rachel Harry of Hood River, Oregon, where she has been teaching drama for 30 years. She built the program and created performances that frequently sell out at the high school and a larger middle school theater with 1,100 seats.

New This Year: 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 you to our internationally acclaimed conservatory program through classes in acting, music theatre, design and production, taught by School of Drama faculty. You’ll live on campus and take part in university activities and, together with your fellow students, prepare for college auditions and interviews. Scholarship winners will be chosen by the winning teacher and/or his/her school.

Zachary Quinto Applauds His Teacher 

Zachary Quinto

After earning his drama degree at CMU, Zachary Quinto went on to star in several popular TV series, including “Heroes” and “American Horror Story,” along with a memorable turn as Spock in the recent “Star Trek” feature films. In spring 2018, Quinto will share the stage with another CMU alum, Matt Bomer, alongside Andrew Rannells and Jim Parsons in Broadway’s The Boys in the Band. Quinto is a staunch supporter of arts education and its positive effects on young people.

“The teacher who inspired me and supported my foray into theatre arts was Jill Wadsworth from CLO (Civic Light Opera) Academy in Pittsburgh,” Quinto said. “Arts education is an essential part of both creative and personal development, giving young people an opportunity to know themselves on a deeper level and celebrate the limitless possibility of their uniqueness. Whether or not they end up pursuing a career in the arts, it is the foundation for a more integrated acceptance of self, and a springboard for a wide range of educational and professional opportunities as they mature.”

Teachers Changing Lives

"We see the effects of great teachers every time we attend a performance and watch a skilled actor capture the audience,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement. "We are honored to recognize theatre education professionals through the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, especially at a time in our nation when the arts are so vitally important.”

“Teachers change lives, and presenting this annual award is one of the greatest ways to recognize that,” said Dan Martin, Dean, College of Fine Arts at CMU. “Together with the League and the Wing, giving a nod to a deserving teacher helps us to support the ongoing platform of arts education and reinforces how very important it is in our society today.”

About the Excellence in Theatre Education Award

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 for his or her school, flights to New York City, hotel accommodations and a pair of tickets to the 2018 Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala.

This year, the person/persons who submit the entry that wins also will receive recognition, including a master class presentation at their school from professionals at Carnegie Mellon. 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 Tony Awards to date.

The 2018 Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 10, 2018 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit for details.) The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The official eligibility cut-off date will be Thursday, April 26, 2018, for all Broadway productions opening in the 2017-2018 season. Productions that meet all other eligibility requirements and open on or before the eligibility date are considered eligible for 2018 Tony Award nominations. 

The Nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards will be announced on Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit and, and follow @TheTonyAwards on InstagramTwitter, and Snapchat. Join the conversation using the hashtag #TonyAwards2018.