The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards® Presented By:
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The Tony Awards has announced the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Theatre Education Award: Theater Director Madeline Michel from Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Excellence in Theatre Education Award was co-founded in 2014 by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to recognize top K-12 drama teachers and to celebrate arts education. Michel will receive her award at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 9, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Michel was a standout to the esteemed panel of judges, with stellar recommendations from Albemarle County Public School District, community leaders, parents and students alike. Her student-written and performed plays have won numerous regional awards, including this year’s grand prize at the Virginia Theatre Conference. Among many accomplishments, it was Michel’s creation of an inclusive drama program, inviting students from all walks of life, to express themselves freely onstage that resonated so strongly.

“This program is not about me, because it has to be about my students,” Michel said. “They are our future. They are the people that are going to change the world and make it better. These are the kids who give me so much hope in some very dark times.”

The fundamentals of Michel’s curriculum are student playwriting, productions that engage a diverse cast and crew, and community service. The Monticello High School Drama Department also has raised thousands of dollars annually for local charities and to fund college scholarships for economically challenged students.

Michel’s drama program took on heightened resonance in 2017 when, in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally, Michel and her students used theatre to address racial inequality, elevating and leading the conversation for a wounded community.

An Award for Outstanding Theatre Educators

The Excellence in Theatre Education Award recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated exemplary 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 Michel from finalists across the nation. Michel will receive $10,000 for Monticello High School’s theater program and tickets to the Tony Awards and Gala. Michel’s students will also receive a visiting Master Class taught by CMU Drama professors. Additionally, two students chosen by Michel will be given scholarships to the university’s acclaimed Drama Pre-College Program in summer 2020.

“Theatre and arts education are fundamental to our educational system. Today, more than ever, we need our local school auditoriums, their wonderfully creative students and courageous theatre educators like Madeline Michel to put powerful new ideas on stage and to share them. We’re honored to present the Excellence in Theatre Education Award to Madeline this year,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League.

“As we proudly mark the fifth anniversary of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, the role of arts in education and in society has become more essential with each passing year. This year’s selection pays tribute to all drama teachers, Madeline Michel especially, who are making the world a better place by amplifying students’ voices through theatre,” said Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian.

The 2019 Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s 73rd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 9, 2019 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. 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, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

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