The Tony Awards have teamed with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University to inaugurate a new national honor for theater educators.
The kudo, which will be awarded every year to one educator teaching at a K-12 grade level, is part of a new partnership between Carnegie Mellon and the Tonys, which have named the university its “exclusive higher education partner.”
The 100-year-old Carnegie Mellon School of Drama has yielded a robust crop of Tony nominees and winners over the years, with university alumni accounting for eight of last year’s winners. Among the actors, producers and designers to score a trophy in 2013 were Billy Porter (“Kinky Boots”) and Patina Miller (“Pippin”), who picked up the season’s lead musical thesping awards.
Nominations for the new educator Tony will be open to the public beginning in September, with a panel of judges from the American Theater Wing, the Broadway League and CMU (among other legit pros) selecting finalists and the eventual winner.
The recipient will receive the honor onstage during the 2015 Tony Awards.
This season’s Tony hype is about to kick into high gear with the nominations due to be announced Tuesday morning, ahead of the June 8 ceremony hosted by Hugh Jackman.