Carnegie Mellon University
May 01, 2013

Press Release: Seven Carnegie Mellon Drama Alumni Earn Tony Nods

Contact: Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /

Tony AwardsPITTSBURGH-Seven alumni of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama have been nominated for the 67th Annual Tony Awards. This year's awards ceremony is June 9 in New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The ceremony will be broadcast on CBS.

"We are absolutely thrilled for our alumni, all of whom are so very deserving of this recognition of their work," said Professor Peter Cooke, head of the School of Drama. "Our graduates consistently stand out among their peers, and this speaks volumes for what we can expect from our alumni in the future. These nominees serve as role models for today's students."

Billy Porter, who earned his bachelor's of fine arts in 1991, was nominated for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical for "Kinky Boots." The East Liberty native is the star of the new Broadway production from Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein. The show garnered 13 nominations, and Porter has been receiving buzz for his role as drag club singer, Lola, who helps to revive business at a shoe factory.

Patina Miller (A'06) is the star of "Pippin," which returned to Broadway last weekend. She is nominated in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her role as the Leading Player. Stephen Schwartz (A'68) wrote the music and lyrics to "Pippin" while he was a student at CMU, and the musical won a Tony for Ben Vereen in 1972 - coincidentally for his portrayal of the Leading Player. Miller, though, is not making comparisons and noted in a recent profile in "Women's Wear Daily" that she brings a new interpretation to the role.

Judith Light (A'70) is celebrating back-to-back Tony nominations. This year, she is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her role in "The Assembled Parties." She won a Tony last year in the category of Best Featured Actress in Play for her work in "Other Desert Cities."

Peter Hylenski (A'97) was nominated for Best Sound Design of a Musical for "Motown The Musical." The show follows Motown founder Berry Gordy's journey featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.

Ann Roth (A'53) was nominated for Best Costume Design of a Play for "The Nance." The show is set in burlesque's heyday and stars two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane as Chauncey Miles, the lead "nance" - a stereotypical homosexual and master of comic double entendre - in a group of performers. Roth and Lane are two of the show's five Tony nominees.

Jules Fisher (A'60) and Peggy Eisenhauer (A'83) were nominated for their work on Tom Hanks' Broadway debut, "Lucky Guy," the Nora Ephron-penned play in which Hanks plays "New York Daily News" columnist Mike McAlary. Fisher and Eisenhauer are nominated in the category of Best Lighting Design of a Play.