The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University will again recognize an exemplary teacher with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, which will be presented at the 2018 Tony Awards June 10, 2018.
CMU alum, actor, and producer Zachary Quinto, who will return to Broadway in May with the Main Stem debut of The Boys in the Band, will serve as the award’s official ambassador, also taking part in the selection committee.
Submissions are currently being accepted online through February 16 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 teacher, one whose position is dedicated to and/or includes aspects of theatre education, for consideration. Submissions can be made at TonyAwards.com/EducationAward.
“The teacher who inspired me and supported my foray into theatre arts was Jill Wadsworth from CLO (Civic Light Opera) Academy in Pittsburgh,” Quinto said in a statement. “Arts education is an essential part of both creative and personal development, giving young people an opportunity to know themselves on a deeper level and celebrate the limitless possibility of their uniqueness. Whether or not they end up pursuing a career in the arts, it is the foundation for a more integrated acceptance of self, and a springboard for a wide range of educational and professional opportunities as they mature.”
"We see the effects of great teachers every time we attend a performance and watch a skilled actor capture the audience,” added Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing. “We are honored to recognize theatre education professionals through the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, especially at a time in our nation when the arts are so vitally important.”
A panel of judges, comprising members of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, and Carnegie Mellon University as well as other leaders from the theatre industry, will select the winner. The winner will receive a cash grant for his or her school, flights to New York City, hotel accommodations, and a pair of tickets to the Tony ceremony and gala.
Since 2014, the Excellence in Theatre Education Award has been bestowed at the Tony Awards. Last year’s honor was presented to Rachel Harry of Hood River, Oregon, where she has been teaching drama for 30 years. This year, the person (or people) who submits the entry that wins will also receive recognition, including a master class presentation at his or her school from professionals at Carnegie Mellon.