"Chicago," the Broadway-to-film hit directed by Carnegie Mellon graduate Rob Marshall, earned the coveted Oscar for Best Picture at the 75th Annual Academy Awards this past Sunday, March 23.
"Chicago," this year's most-nominated film at the Oscars, also won Academy Awards for Art Direction, Costume Design, Film Editing and Sound. Catherine Zeta-Jones, who plays Velma Kelly in the motion picture, won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Prior to the Academy Awards, Marshall, a Pittsburgh native, won the Director's Guild of America Award and the Golden Globe Award for best director for his work in "Chicago."
None of this success comes as a surprise to Marshall's former instructors at Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama. Faculty members claim that his award-winning ways are just another testament to his hard work, determination and past experiences in the theater arts.
"He (Rob) was at home on stage and seemed to feel a great joy in expressing himself through his art," said Judy Conte, senior lecturer in dance at the Drama School. "I feel there are people who just live as performing artists. Rob is one of those people and he can transmit that energy or spirit to others.
"I attribute Rob's success to the fact that he does live as that artist and encourages and inspires everyone he comes in contact with to do the same," Conte said.
Marshall graduated in 1982 from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama, where he studied music theater. Many faculty and students remember him as a dedicated professional student with a passion for music theater. The School of Drama was the first accredited theater program in the United States and has a rich history and curriculum in conservatory theater.
Barbara Anderson, associate dean and professor in the School of Drama, said, "When he got to Carnegie Mellon he was a music theater major and had a role in the chorus of 'Brigadoon' when he was a freshman. I remember so clearly how taken I was with his performance. He had a wonderful presence on stage, even as a chorus member.
"That was a magic production and Rob was terrific! It played to standing room the whole time and there were a number of people who wanted to take it to New York, but the rights and credits were so mixed up it never could get going. We are so delighted that he is having this success," Anderson said.
The School of Drama is one of five schools within Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts is a community of nationally and internationally recognized artists and professionals organized into five schools: Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music, and their associated centers and programs.
About Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall is one of Hollywood's hottest directors, recently winning the coveted Golden Globe Award and Directors Guild of America Award for his work in "Chicago."
As a six-time Tony Award nominee, he directed and choreographed Disney/ABC's critically acclaimed movie musical "Annie," for which he was nominated for a Director's Guild Award and won an Emmy Award for best choreography. Prior to this, he directed and choreographed the Broadway production "Little Me" (+), starring Martin Short.
He made his Broadway directorial debut co-directing "Cabaret" (+*) after directing "Promises, Promises" for the City Center Encores! series. Other recent choreography credits include the feature film "The Cradle Will Rock," directed by Tim Robbins, the Disney/ABC movie of the week "Cinderella" (@), featuring Whitney Houston, and the CBS movie of the week "Mrs. Santa Claus" (@).
Recent Broadway choreography credits include the revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (), directed by Jerry Zaks, starring Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg, the stage production of Blake Edward's "Victor/Victoria" () at the Marquis Theatre, and "Company" () at the Roundabout.
Marshall also choreographed the Broadway revival of "Damn Yankees" (+$), the National Tour featuring Jerry Lewis (~) and the London production (#). Before that, he created the choreography for the new Broadway production of "She Loves Me" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (+*$). This production originally had a very successful sold-out run at the Roundabout Theatre and went on to have highly acclaimed runs both on Broadway and in London (#).
He provided choreography for Broadway's "Kiss Of The Spider Woman" (+), directed by Hal Prince, as well as for the London and Vienna productions. He subsequently choreographed "The Petrified Prince" at the Public Theatre, which was also directed by Prince.
Marshall also directed and choreographed a new version of "Chess" for the Paper Mill Playhouse and directed a production of Kander & Ebb's "Chicago" at Long Beach Civic Light Opera, for which he received a Drama-Logue Award. This production starred Bebe Neuwirth and Juliet Prowse. He has directed and choreographed tours of "Brigadoon" starring John Schneider, "Camelot" starring Stacy Keach and "Side By Side By Sondheim" for Columbia Artists.
He also choreographed the national touring company of "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood," and provided staging for the Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" starring Geraldine Page and Richard Chamberlain. His regional credits include "Bells Are Ringing" (Goodspeed Opera House); "70, Girls, 70" (Asolo State Theatre); "Eleanor" (Pittsburgh Public); "Three Sisters" and "A Christmas Carol" (McCarter); "The Rink" (Coconut Grove); and "The 1940's Radio Hour" (St. Louis Rep).
(+) Tony Award Nomination
() Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination
(*) Drama Desk Award Nomination
(@) Emmy Award Nomination
($) Outer Critics Circle Award Winner
(~) L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award Winner
(#) Olivier Award Nomination