NEW YORK and PITTSBURGH, Jan. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, inspirational theatre educators across the United States have a first-ever chance at the Tony spotlight. The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have announced that nominations are now open for the inaugural "Excellence in Theatre Education Award."
Now through March 31, nominations are being accepted online for K-12 theatre educators. Anyone—from students and school administrators, to friends, neighbors and family—can submit a worthy teacher for consideration.
Nominees must be current teachers at an accredited K-12 institution or recognized community theatre organization anywhere in the United States. He or she must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to and/or includes aspects of theatre education. To learn more about the award criteria and to nominate a teacher, please visit tonyawards.com/educatoraward.
"This new award underscores our longstanding commitment to theatre education," said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. "Innumerable Tony Award winners have thanked their teachers during acceptance speeches. Starting this year, we're putting educators and their essential roles at center stage."
Some of those stars, such as Christian Borle, Sutton Foster and Cherry Jones, are featured in a new video reel released today by the Tony Awards. To see the video, please visit http://youtu.be/n5SJcV653Yk.
This annual award will recognize a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental 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 will select the finalists and winner.
"At Carnegie Mellon, I have the privilege of seeing education transform the lives of talented young people every day, and then I watch as those students transform the world," said Dan Martin, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon, the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards.
Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States and celebrated its centennial in 2014. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees and its alumni have won 39 awards to date. During last year's live Tony Awards telecast, CMU alumni Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer announced the upcoming educator award initiative.
The award finalists will be announced in the spring and each will receive an honorarium. A single winner will be selected to receive the Excellence in Theatre Education Award on stage at Radio City Music Hall during the 69th Annual Tony Awards telecast on CBS at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time), Sunday, June 7.
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, Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is Executive Director. At the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long is Chairman and Heather Hitchens is President. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2015 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2015 Tony Awards.
IBM, the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards website, www.TonyAwards.com across digital platforms. Carnegie Mellon University is the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards. City National Bank is the official bank of the Tony Awards. United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards. Nexxus Salon Hair Care is the official beauty partner of the Tony Awards. Paramount Hotel is the official hotel partner of the Tonys. PEOPLE is the official magazine partner of the Tony Awards. Clear Channel Spectacolor is an official media partner of the Tony Awards and co-producer of the Tony Simulcast in Times Square.
The American Theatre Wing's Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards® are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing
About Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) 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 12,000 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. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico.
SOURCE Carnegie Mellon University