Do you know a theatre instructor teaching in the Kindergarten to 12th Grade who is going above and beyond to inspire the next generation of theatre artists and audiences? If so, it is time to nominate them for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award sponsored by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University. This will be the fifth year that the prestigious accolade is handed out to a deserving teacher. Last year’s honor was presented to Melody Herzfeld of Parkland, Florida, where she is a drama teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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 2019 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 9, 2019. Now through February 15, 2019, 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 at www.TonyAwards.com/EducationAward.
“For the past five years, we have had the unique opportunity to recognize educators who are inspiring and mentoring the next generation of outstanding artists with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award,” said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “Each year, we are amazed by the teachers featured in the submission process, and we cannot wait to see what next year brings!”
The winner of the award will be selected by a panel of judges from the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University, and other leaders from the theatre industry. 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 2019 Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala.
In addition, the winning teacher’s students will receive a master class 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 2020.
“Carnegie Mellon is delighted to recognize exemplary teachers who are preparing our young people for the next steps of their education and, ultimately, their professional experiences,” said Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian. “One of our founder’s greatest beliefs was in the power of arts education, and this award proudly continues Andrew Carnegie’s legacy, shining a national spotlight on the vital role theatre educators play in helping students embrace their creativity. This five-year milestone is particularly rewarding for us and our Tony partners, and we look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.”
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 47 Tony Awards to date.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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