NEW YORK and PITTSBURGH -- The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will once again recognize a deserving teacher with the "Excellence in Theatre Education Award" this year.
Now through February 29, 2016, submissions are being 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.
Last year's inaugural Award received an outstanding response of worthy teachers. More than 4,300 submissions were received from 47 states across the country. After an intensive review process by a panel of judges, the Award was given to Corey Mitchell, theater arts teacher at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C. Mitchell was recognized at the Tony Awards ceremony on June 7, 2015, at Radio City Music Hall during a pre-televised awards ceremony and during the live broadcast by CMU alumnus and actor Joe Manganiello.
"It has been my honor to be the first recipient of this award," Mitchell said in his acceptance speech. "I thank Carnegie Mellon, The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing for creating this award, which provides recognition to arts educators and validates our work. I encourage people to honor their own teachers this year."
"The amount of submissions we received last year was outstanding, and we were touched by how passionately theatre students across the country care about their teachers and the impact they have had on their lives," said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. "We hope that this year brings in even more submissions and can continue to honor deserving teachers and aid arts programs across the country for years to come."
This annual honor recognizes 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. The winner will receive a cash grant prize for his or her school, flights to New York City, hotel accommodations and a pair of tickets to the Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala. To learn more about the award criteria and to submit a teacher as a candidate for the award, visit tonyawards.com/educationaward and use #ApplaudMyTeacher when sharing on social media.
"We hope people will take the time to tell their own stories about the teachers who have influenced their lives and, ultimately, their careers – no matter whether they are in the entertainment industry or not," said Daniel J. Martin, dean, College of Fine Arts at CMU. "We must thank those who expend their energy teaching us about the arts."
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 more than 40 awards to date. In the 2014 live Tony Awards telecast, CMU alumni Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer introduced the 2015 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 the Beacon Theatre during the 70th Annual Tony Awards telecast on CBS at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time), Sunday, June 12, 2016.