The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University have announced the inaugural recipient of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
Corey Mitchell, Theater Arts Teacher at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina, is this year's recipient. Finalists for the award included Marianne Adams, Director of Education at the Grandstreet Theatre School in Helena, Montana, and Donald Hicken, Theatre Department Director at the Baltimore School for the Arts.
The Excellence in Theatre Education Award, to be presented at the 2015 Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 7, recognizes a K-12 theater 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 nominations were received from across the United States for the 2015 award.
"The submissions for these educators by their students and colleagues were extremely moving, and the lasting impact they have made was made very evident by the videos and stories they shared," said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement. "We are extremely honored to have this opportunity to recognize their outstanding work in this manner and are thrilled to have them join us on Sunday evening at the Tony Awards."
In addition to his work at Northwest, Corey is involved as a director and actor with the Charlotte-area theater community and is a strong advocate for arts education through his work on the board of directors for the North Carolina Theatre Conference. Mitchell, his colleagues, and his students are also the subject of the 2015 feature-length documentary, Purple Dreams, which chronicles Northwest's production of The Color Purple and its journey to the main stage of the International Thespian Festival.
The Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS live from Radio City Music Hall this Sunday evening at 8pm ET.