The two organizations will jointly create and launch the first, national recognition program to honor kindergarten through high school theatre educators.
“Throughout its history, Carnegie Mellon has been home to many talented and inspirational faculty, so we understand the important role teachers play in transforming lives,” said CMU president Subra Suresh in a statement. “Behind every Tony winner is a teacher who inspired and nurtured a young talent to grow, to pursue big dreams and accomplish great things. We are excited to bring those heroes into the Tony spotlight.”
CMU’s School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States and celebrates its centennial in 2014. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees and 31 Tony winners—eight winners in 2013 alone.
The upcoming Tony Awards broadcast will feature an on-air tribute to CMU’s century of producing top theatre talent.
“We are pleased to recognize Carnegie Mellon University’s historic and unrivaled contributions to theatre education,” said Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, in a joint statement. “What better occasion to celebrate 100 years of talent-making than on Broadway’s biggest night!” Nominations will be open to the public and accepted starting in September at tonyawards.com and cmu.edu. A panel of judges composed of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, CMU and other leaders from the theatre industry will select the finalists and winner based on criteria set forth by the committee. "Demonstrating a positive impact on the lives of students, advancing the theatre profession and a commitment to excellence will be among the qualifications," according to a press release.
The winning teacher will receive the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education presented by Carnegie Mellon University onstage at the 2015 Tony Awards. In addition to the trip to New York City, a financial contribution will be made to the theatre arts program at the winner’s school.
For more information about the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education, visit tonyawards.com or cmu.edu.