Excellence in Education Award, presented by The Tonys and Carnegie Mellon
Excellence in Education Award, presented by The Tonys and Carnegie Mellon

Excellence in Theatre Education Award Submissions Now Open

Theatre educators are a special brand of teacher. Often, they are tasked to juggle myriad tasks all in an effort to give the youth in their charge a love and respect for the noble pursuit of the performing arts. They are equal parts artist, counselor, craftsman, and multi-tasker, bringing all these elements together to guide young people through self-introspection, building their confidence, helping them to find and hone their talents, and showing them the glorious results of being a part of something bigger than their separate selves.

“The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon are looking for the teachers who create the next generation of theatre artists. These dedicated professionals discover talented students, nurture them, inspire them, and set them off on a lifelong journey as theatre supporters and professionals.”

Those of you who know a teacher who fits these criteria are encouraged to submit candidates for the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. Tell the story of a theatre educator who made a difference in your life, and the lives of others. From these candidates, a winner will be selected and they will receive their honor at the 72nd Tony Awards on June 10, 2018. CMU alumnus, actor, and producer Zachary Quinto will serve as the award’s official ambassador and serve on the selection committee.

New to this year’s award will be a recognition of the person or persons who submitted this year’s winner, with Carnegie Mellon arranging a special master class presentation for the winning school or organization. The Excellence in Theatre Education Award is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University.

How to submit a candidate:


Members of the public are invited to submit candidates for the Education Award. Your candidate must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The candidate must be a current, living teacher at an accredited K-12 institution, or reputable theatre organization, located within the U.S.
  • He or she must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to, or includes aspects of, theatre education.

Submissions will be accepted from students (for a current/past teacher) or from other individuals (submit a teacher you know as a candidate for the award). Self-submissions will not be accepted.

Submission Requirements

For an educator to be considered a candidate for the award, you must submit the following materials by the deadline listed below:

  1. Online Submission Form
    A completed online submission form, including name and contact information for your candidate.
  2. Photo
    A color or black & white digital photo of the teacher.
  3. Three (3) Letters of Reference
    Letters may be submitted by any individual including, but not limited to, a colleague in the candidate’s school, an academic advisor or current supervisor, a former student, or a community leader. However, the letter cannot be submitted by the candidate himself/herself.
  4. Make a Video That Tells Us Your Teacher’s Story 
    You must submit a video to tell us about your candidate. Demonstrate why the candidate has a compelling story, and has gone above and beyond in the field of theatre education. For example, describe how the nominee has made a difference in the life of a student, school or community; or how he/she is working to advance and champion theatre education in today’s landscape.
  5. Video Guidelines
  • Videos may not exceed three minutes in duration.
  • Video must be in MOV, AVI or WMV format, minimum resolution 320×240.


The deadline for all application materials including letters of recommendation is 11:59 p.m. ET on February 16, 2018.

Re-submitting Candidates from Past Years

If you proposed a candidate in a past year, you may resubmit that educator this year and we will consider him or her for the award. Please note:

  • You must log on to the system to re-submit your candidate or s/he will not be considered this year.
  • The candidate must meet the 2018 eligibility requirements.
  • No self-submitted candidates will be considered in 2018.

To view the online submission form, click HERE.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com