Carnegie Mellon University and its School of Drama had many reasons to celebrate at the 2018 Tony Awards, including three awards alumna Jamie deRoy took home as producer.
A member of the class of 1967, deRoy won Tony Awards for Best Musical for “The Band’s Visit,” Best Revival of a Play for “Angels in America” and Best Revival of a Musical for “Once on This Island.” With a total of five nominations, she was recognized during the live broadcast on Sunday, June 10, at Radio City Music Hall, increasing the number of Tony Awards won by CMU alumni to 47.
In partnership with the Tony Awards, CMU presented the fourth annual Excellence in Theatre Education Award to Melody Herzfeld of Parkland, Florida. She has been teaching drama at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School since 2003 and has produced more than 50 productions.
Alumna Ming-Na Wen introduced Herzfeld during the live broadcast. Afterward, her drama club students received a standing ovation for their surprise performance of “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.”
Six CMU alumni garnered a record-breaking 12 nominations this year. In addition to deRoy, Peggy Eisenhauer and Jules Fisher were nominated for lighting design, and Grey Henson was nominated for his role in the musical “Mean Girls.” Peter Hylenski and Ann Roth received nominations in sound and costume design, respectively.
CMU alumnus and 2017 Tony nominee Josh Groban co-hosted the 72nd Annual Tony Awards with singer, songwriter, actress and Tony nominee Sara Bareilles. Henson performed with the cast of “Mean Girls,” and fellow alumni Matt Bomer, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Zachary Quinto were among award presenters.
CMU, Tony Awards Honor Theater Educator Melody Herzfeld
CMU President Farnam Jahanian, College of Fine Arts Dean Dan J. Martin and School of Drama Head Peter Cooke presented Herzfeld with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award during a pre-televised portion of the Tony Awards. In her acceptance speech, Herzfeld reflected on the importance of arts education to students and society.
“We all have a common energy. We all want the same thing. We cannot deny it. To be heard. To hit our mark. To tell our truth. To make a difference. And to be loyally respected. We teach this every day in every arts class,” Herzfeld said.
On Feb. 14, when the unthinkable happened at Stoneman Douglas, Herzfeld and 65 of her students hid in her office for two hours until authorities led them to safety. From this event many of her students felt a call to action speaking out and using their voices.
The Excellence in Theatre Education Award 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. A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon and other leaders from the theater industry selected Herzfeld from finalists across the nation.
CMU is the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards. Its School of Drama consistently ranks as one of the world’s best drama schools and is recognized as an international leader in arts and technology. Year after year, the School of Drama produces graduates who go on to do award-winning work, both on stage and behind the scenes.