PITTSBURGH, June 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama alumni garnered Tony Award nominations this year. Denée Benton, Christian Borle, and Josh Groban were nominated for their leading roles in Broadway musicals, and Kevin Emrick was nominated as a producer of a best play.
Benton and Groban are nominated for their performances in "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812," which garnered 12 nominations. This is the second consecutive year that Carnegie Mellon alumni have been nominated for best leading actor and actress in the musical earning the most Tony Award nominations.
Last year, CMU alumni Leslie Odom, Jr. and Renée Goldsberry were nominated and won for their roles in "Hamilton," which had a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations.
The recent success of CMU alumni continues a tradition of winning Tony Awards; the university boasts a total of 44 award winners and nearly 200 nominees.
Since 2011, seven CMU alumni have won Tony Awards for their roles as leading or featured performers, including Borle, who won for "Something Rotten" in 2015, and "Peter and the Starcatcher" in 2012. Borle is nominated again this year for his work in "Falsettos." Fellow drama alumnus Kevin Emrick is nominated this year as a producer for "Sweat."
Other recent winners include Judith Light, who won in 2012 ("Other Desert Cities") and 2013 ("The Assembled Parties"), Billy Porter in 2013 for "Kinky Boots," Patina Miller in 2013 for "Pippin" and Sutton Foster in 2011 for "Anything Goes."
"During the last 100 years, we in the School of Drama have built a reputation for identifying the best of the best in young talent and helping these students to become excellent performers," said Peter Cooke, head of CMU's School of Drama. "Our graduates not only have chops, but they also possess incredible work ethics and professionalism."
Perhaps best known for its top-performing onstage talent, Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama also has a stellar reputation for graduating some of the industry's most sought-after behind-the-scenes professionals. Twenty-one Tony Awards have been presented to alumni who work in areas such as producing, costume design, lighting design, scenic design and playwriting. Lighting designer Jules Fisher has won nine Tony Awards, the most among CMU alumni.
The 71st Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 11, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. For more information, visit cmu.edu/tony-awards.
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SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University