Theatre Education Award-CMU & the Tony Awards - Carnegie Mellon University

Excellence in Theatre Education Award

Behind every great performance is inspiration, and behind that inspiration is a great teacher. Carnegie Mellon University and the Tony Awards have announced Corey Mitchell, theater arts teacher at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C., as the inaugural winner of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award.

This special honor recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. More than 4,000 applications were received for this year's educator award.

Nominations for the 2016 Excellence in Theatre Education Award are now open. 

2015 Award Winner

Corey Mitchell

Corey Mitchell

Performing Arts Teacher / Theatre Director
Northwest School of the Arts
Charlotte, North Carolina

Corey has been a great asset to the community with his diverse background in theatre and commitment to the craft. He has mentored many students who now find themselves working for him on a professional level. At his school he brings first class productions to the community; a great challenge for the students … Some of those students are now across the country in theatre education in some of the most prestigious schools thanks to him.

Read more about Corey Mitchell.

2015 Finalists

Marianne Adams

Marianne Adams

Director of Education
Grandstreet Theatre School
Helena, Montana

Marianne changed my life through the magic of theatre. She gave me a loving home of supportive family and the courage to embrace myself in the face of overwhelming adversity. Marianne has touched the lives of thousands of children in rural Montana, and like me, each of her students has the ability to share these lessons, this power with others who need it.

Donald Hicken

Donald Hicken

Director of Theater Department
Baltimore School for the Arts
Baltimore, Maryland

For more than 35 years, one person in Baltimore has gone above and beyond in the field of theater — touching thousands of lives. Donald Hicken, Theater Department Head at Baltimore School for Arts (BSA), helped co-found that school in 1979 after civic leaders realized that there was a need. BSA has become a pre-eminent arts school, especially for theater … Donald Hicken believes theater can change the world and student's lives for the better. He often says theater is a metaphor for life — and in this metaphor he has helped so many.

What is the Excellence in Theatre Education Award?

  • An annual award recognizing a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S.
  • The winning educator will receive the "Excellence in Theatre Education Award Presented by Carnegie Mellon University and The Tony Awards" at the 2016 Tony Awards.
  • This award is given to a teacher who embodies the highest standards of the profession and demonstrates a positive impact on the lives of students, advancement of the theatre profession and a commitment to excellence.
  • A select number of finalists will be announced in the spring and receive an honorarium.
  • The winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize for his or her school, a flight for two to New York City, hotel accommodations and a pair of tickets to the Tony Awards Ceremony and Gala at the Plaza Hotel.

How is the winning educator selected?

  • A panel of judges comprising leaders from the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and Carnegie Mellon University will select the finalists and winner based on set criteria.
  • Eligibility
  • The nominee must be a current, living teacher at an accredited K-12 institution, or reputable theatre organization, located within the U.S.
  • He or she must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to, or includes aspects of, theatre education.
  • Nominations are accepted in three categories: self-nomination, student nomination and general public nomination.

Why Carnegie Mellon University?

CMU is the first-ever higher education partner of the Tony Awards. The partnership commenced during 2014, the year in which the university's School of Drama celebrated its 100th year of granting degrees. The CMU School of Drama is the oldest drama degree-granting program in the United States. In the past century, CMU has produced hundreds of Tony nominees and 40 Tony Awards — eight winners in 2013 alone.

Willian Ivey Long

  • Chairman of the American Theatre Wing and Broadway Costume Designer, William Ivey Long designed the trophy for the inaugural Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
  • Long has been nominated for 14 Tony Awards and recently won his sixth Tony Award for his designs for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. He was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2005.