The Von Trapp children wouldn’t have gotten where they did without Maria the governess teaching them their Do Re Mis.
Like most legendary performers, they had an instructor who gave them the tools they needed to sing their little hearts out (and escape the Nazis while they were at it).
In honor of those people training the future stars of the stage, the Tony Awards have established a new category: the Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
Anyone can nominate an instructor who is currently teaching theater at a K-12 institution or community theater organization in the United States. Entries will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and representatives from the American Theatre Wing, the Broadway League and Carnegie Mellon University, which co-created the award.
“Innumerable Tony Award winners have thanked their teachers during acceptance speeches,” said Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Starting this year, we’re putting educators and their essential roles at center stage.”
One winner will be flown to New York to receive the award during the Tony Awards telecast on June 7. The winner also gets a cash prize of $10,000 for his or her school, while finalists will get $1,000 for their schools.
Nominations are being accepted online at tonyawards.com/educatoraward through March 31. □