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Nationwide call for submissions opens November 8, 2021—honoring exceptional drama teachers

New York & Pittsburgh (November 8, 2021) – The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) today announced the Excellence in Theatre Education Award will return to the Tony Awards next year. The national call for submissions opens November 8, 2021, at

The Excellence in Theatre Education Award was co-founded by The Tony Awards and CMU in 2014 to recognize extraordinary K-12 arts and theatre educators. The momentous positive impact those teachers have on their students, school districts and communities is fundamental—not just to Broadway but to society in general.

During Broadway’s COVID-19 shutdown, this ongoing teacher appreciation program was temporarily interrupted, but the commitment to recognize and celebrate arts educators is steadfast. Now that Broadway is back and schools are in session, it’s time once again to canvas the U.S. and identify another top drama teacher.

“The Broadway community has demonstrated extraordinary resilience over the past two years,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “That spirit of commitment and collaboration has been upheld across the county in classrooms, high school auditoriums, and video conferences. Theatre teachers have continued to engage and educate, much to their great credit, and we’re eager to celebrate them.”

Students, parents, faculty, staff, friends, and families are encouraged to submit local, notable drama instructors—who inspire all with their superlative theatre programs—for this prestigious honor. Now through January 31, 2022, submissions will be accepted online for K-12 theatre educators at an accredited institution or recognized community theatre organization. Anyone can submit a worthy teacher for consideration. They must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to and/or includes aspects of theatre education.

A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University, and other leaders from the theatre industry annually select the winner and honorable mentions. The winner will receive a cash grant for their school and other recognition.

The most recent Excellence in Theatre Education Award was presented in 2019 to Madeline Michel of Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her award was introduced during the 73rd annual Tony Awards ceremony by CMU alumni and actors Billy Porter and John Clay III.

In addition, the winning teacher’s theatre arts students will receive a masterclass presentation from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama, as well as two scholarships for students of their choosing to attend the School of Drama Summer Pre-College Program in summer 2022. Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees, and its alumni have won more than 50 Tony Awards to date.

“Now more than ever, we celebrate the restorative power of arts and theatre education,” said Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian. “We’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League to seek, select and showcase top drama teachers—and to celebrate the inspirational and important work that they do, especially during these challenging times.”

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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, Lauren Reid is Chair and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theatre Wing, Emilio Sosa is Chair and Heather A. Hitchens is President & CEO.

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 14,000 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.