Madeline Michel, Theater Director at Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia, will receive the 2019 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. The honor will be presented to her at the Tony Awards, set for June 9 at Radio City Music Hall.
This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the award, presented by the Tonys and Carnegie Mellon University. The honor recognizes K-12 drama teachers for their efforts in championing the arts in their schools.
Michel leads her drama department in various community service endeavors, raising thousands of dollars each year for local charities and scholarships. Her curriculum also emphasizes the importance of engaging a diverse cast and crew. Following the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Michel and her students used theatre to engagement the school and community at large in conversations about racial inequality, including presenting student-written plays (including A King's Story, below), inspired by true events and personal experiences.
“This program is not about me, because it has to be about my students,” Michel said. “They are our future. They are the people that are going to change the world and make it better. These are the kids who give me so much hope in some very dark times.”
The award comes with a $10,000 grant for Monticello High School's theatre program, as well as scholarships for two of Michel's students to Carnegie Mellon's Drama Pre-College summer program.