In case you missed it, The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards named CMU’s School of Drama an “exclusive higher education partner” in the collaboration of a national award that will honor kindergarten through high school theatre educators.

The honor seems fitting for CMU, which is celebrating its 100th year of the founding of the School of Drama, among the oldest and most sought-after theatre degree programs in the country. CMU has produced hundreds Tony nominees and 31 Tony winners during the last century.

The Tony Awards 2014 nominees included six CMU graduates: Cherry Jones for Best Actress in “The Glass Menagerie;” Paula Wagner, for Best Producer for the play “Mothers and Sons;” Jaime DeRoy, Best Producer for the musical, “Gentlemen’s Guide to Love & Murder;” Sutton Foster for Best Actress in the musical “Violet;”  Peter Hylenski, designer, Best Sound Design in the musical “After Midnight;” and Lee Silver, best direction for the musical “Violet.”

In 2013, eight CMU graduates claimed Tonys including alumni Billy Porter (A’91) for “Kinky Boots” and Patina Miller (A’70) in “Pippin.” Other winners last year included Judith Light (A’70) for “The Assembled Parties” and producers Martin Platt (A’71) and Jamie deRoy (A ’67) for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

CMU will assist with a national campaign to select nominations for the best educators in teaching theatre arts K-12. The first award will be given out in 2015.

The 68th annual Tony Awards presented an on-air tribute to CMU’s century as a leader in theater education, educating some of the most talented professionals in the industry, from actors to producers, technicians, backstage and front office professionals and everything in between.

Says CMU President Subra Suresh: “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.”

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...