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CMU Takes Center Stage at Tony Awards

First Education Partnership ShinesFirst Education Partnership Shines

Jamie DeRoy

Alumna Jamie DeRoy (A'67) took home her third Tony Award as a producer for the winner of the Best Musical, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder."

"Congratulations to Jamie on winning a 2014 Tony Award," said CMU President Subra Suresh. "It's always exciting to see Carnegie Mellon alumni be recognized for their outstanding contributions to Broadway and the American theatre. This is another example of how, for 100 years, CMU's School of Drama has prepared and supported talented individuals, both on-stage and off, to reach the highest levels of their profession. The entire CMU community is very proud to celebrate with Jamie."

Previous theatre producing credits for DeRoy include dozens of shows, among them Tony Award winners "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" in 2013 and the revival of "The Norman Conquests" in 2009.

She also has won eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards, 10 Telly Awards and CaB Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive work on stage and screen.

Carnegie Mellon University also took center stage as the first education partner of the Tony Awards. Alumni Matt Bomer (A'00) and Zachary Quinto (A'99) announced the partnership on the 68th Annual Tony Awards® broadcast, presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

As part of the exclusive higher education partnership, CMU and the Tonys will present The Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Education Presented by Carnegie Mellon University during next year's telecast.

Carnegie Mellon premiered its first prime-time television commercial during the show and several alumni were presenters and performers. The animated spot, which highlights CMU's success in the arts, business, sciences and technology, aired twice during the Tony broadcast. Tony Award winner Billy Porter (A'91) recorded the voiceover.

Hosted by Tony Award winner, Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe®-winning actor Hugh Jackman, the 68th Annual Tony Awards also featured appearances by Patrick Wilson (A'95) and Judith Light (A'70).

Recognized for excellence in acting, producing, sound and lighting, this year's Tony Award nominees reflect the breadth of drama education at CMU, and the range of impact alumni are having on the Broadway stage.

The other 2014 Tony Award nominees were:

Peter Hylenski (A'97)
Best Sound Design of a Musical, "After Midnight"

Along with "After Midnight," Hylenski recently provided sound design for "Bullets Over Broadway" and "Rocky on Broadway." Hylenski has designed shows for Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. He co-produced the cast album of "Shrek, the Musical" for DreamWorks and was the sound supervisor on his fourth film for the American Museum of Natural History in New York titled "Journey to the Stars." He also has been nominated for Grammy and Olivier awards.

Leigh Silverman (A'96)
Best Direction of a Musical, "Violet"

This was her first Tony nomination. Silverman is a director for the stage with Broadway credits that include "Kung Fu," "Chinglish" and Lisa Kron's "Well." Silverman's production of David Henry Hwang's "Wit" was featured at the Vaudeville Theatre at the West End in London. She previously directed "Yellow Face" at the Center Theater Group and The Public Theater. Silverman's New York Off-Broadway credits include "Golden Child," "The Call," "Blue Door," "Close Up Space," "Coraline," "From Up Here," "Creature" and "Hunting and Gathering" at Primary Stages.

Cherry Jones (A'78)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, "The Glass Menagerie"

Jones has been nominated five times, and she previously won in 1995 for "The Heiress" and in 2005 for "Doubt." Jones has received nearly a dozen awards including Tony, Obie, Joseph Jefferson, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Sidney Kingsley, Lucille Lortel, Elliott Norton and Drama League awards. Ben Brantley of The New York Times has hailed Jones as "the greatest stage actress of her generation." She was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in January.

Paula Wagner (producer)
Best Play, "Mothers and Sons"

This was her first Tony nomination. Wagner has worked in the top ranks of the entertainment industry as a film producer, talent agent and studio executive. She is a co-founder of Cruise/Wagner Productions and produced more than 20 films including "Mission: Impossible I, II and III," "The Last Samurai," "Vanilla Sky," "The Others" and Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds," for which she was the executive producer. Wagner's Broadway producing credits include "The Heiress," "Grace" and Terence McNally's Tony-nominated play "Mothers & Sons." She also was a prominent agent at Creative Artists Agency, and the CEO of United Artists (2006-2008). Additional producing credits include "Five" (Lifetime) and "The Governors Awards" ceremony for AMPAS, 2013. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to entertainment. Wagner, who is also an alumna, serves as a Life Trustee at Carnegie Mellon University, and as an associate professor in the Heinz College. Currently, Wagner is developing films, theatre and television through her production company, Chestnut Ridge Productions.

Sutton Foster
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, "Violet"

Foster has been nominated six times, and she previously won in 2002 for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and in 2011 for "Anything Goes."

In addition, shows nominated for Best Musical included CMU alumni. Catherine Walker (A'01) is an ensemble cast member of "A Gentleman's Guide To Love and Murder," and Daisy Hobbs (A'10) is an ensemble cast member of "Aladdin."

"The Glass Menagerie" received seven nominations. CMU cast members, along with Jones, were Quinto and Nicholas Rehberger (A'13).

"Act One" received five nominations. CMU cast members include Bob Ari (A'71, '95) and Will Brill (A'09).

Nominations for the Education Honor will be open to the public and accepted starting this fall at tonyawards.com and cmu.edu. For more information visit the Tony Education Honor Facebook page.


Related Links: College of Fine Arts | School of Drama | Carnegie Mellon & the Tony Awards | TonyAwards.com | Past Winners