Countless Tony Award-winners have used their acceptance speeches to thank their former theater teachers. As a way of formally recognizing these educators, the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University have just opened nominations for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, a new award that recognizes outstanding theater teachers around the country.
The prize aims to honor teachers who have demonstrated dedication to the theater and have had a significant impact on their students and community. Anyone currently teaching at a K-12 school or “reputable theatre organization” in the United States is eligible to be nominated by a student, community member, or other individual familiar with their work. The nomination process is entirely online and must be completed by March 31.
Finalists will be chosen by judges within the theater industry and will receive $1,000 for their schools, as well as tickets to the Tony Awards in June, including transportation to and lodging in New York and an invitation to an “exclusive pre-Tony event.” The winner will also be recognized on-stage at the awards ceremony and will receive $10,000 for their school.
The Tony Awards released a video on Monday highlighting the award and the importance of theater teachers in encouraging the next generation of actors and performers.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.