Carnegie Mellon University

2017 Tony Award Nominees

On May 2, 2017, three Carnegie Mellon University alumni garnered Tony Award nominations during a live broadcast on "CBS This Morning" and a webcast on

Media Kit

A headshot of Denee Benton


Denée Benton

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Denée Benton got her big break in the middle of her senior year while studying music theater at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama when she was cast as Nabulungi in the West End and U.S. national tour of "The Book of Mormon." She graduated in 2014 and later went on to play Ruby Carter in the second season of the Lifetime series, "UnREAL." After, Benton was cast in the title role of Natasha, in "Natasha, Pierre and The Comet of 1812" at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston. She and the show transferred to Broadway in fall 2016, where she made her debut alongside fellow CMU alumnus Josh Groban.

A portrait of Christian Borle

Christian Borle

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

A Pittsburgh native, Christian Borle attended Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama as a music theater major. He graduated in 1995. He is a two-time Tony Award winner for his work in "Something Rotten!" and "Peter and the Starcatcher" and was nominated for his performance in "Legally Blonde, THE MUSICAL." Additional Broadway credits include "Mary Poppins," "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "Spamalot," "Footloose," "Amour" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." On screen, Borle has appeared on NBC's "Smash," "Peter Pan Live!" and "The Sound of Music Live!," as well as Showtime's "Masters of Sex."

A photo of Kevin Embrick

Kevin Emrick

Best Play as producer. Jointly nominated with Stuart Thompson, Louise L. Gund, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Jon B. Platt, Roy Furman, Len Blavatnik, Shelly Mitchell, Scott Rudin, Ted Snowdon, True Love Productions, John Gore, Deborah Taylor/Richard Winkler and The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director)

Kevin Emrick is the creative director for Stuart Thompson Productions. A 2007 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, Emrick has previously worked at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Pittburgh Cultural Trust, the Chautauqua Theatre Company and Warner Bros. Television.

A portrait of Josh Groban

Josh Groban

"Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812"
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

A Los Angeles native, Groban is an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and actor. Having sold more than 30 million albums and DVDs worldwide, Groban is the only artist who has had two albums land on Billboard's list of 20 best sellers of the last 10 years. On top of his music career, Groban has made acting appearances on "Glee," "The Simpsons," "The Office," "CSI: NY," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "The Crazy Ones," and in the feature films "Crazy, Stupid, Love," "Coffee Town" and "Muppets Most Wanted." He attended Carnegie Mellon 1999-2000. He made his Broadway debut as "Comet's" Pierre alongside fellow CMU alumna Deneé Benton this fall.