The School of Music, Theatre, & Dance has a long tradition of producing Broadway stars, so it's no surprise that U-M's connection to this year's first live broadcast is significant.
During the centenary year of SMTD's Department of Theatre & Drama, the 2015 Tonys are particularly special. U-M alumni featured/nominated include:
- Darren Criss (BFA '09, Theatre/Acting), currently starring on Broadway as Hedwig in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," will co-host the Tony Awards' first-ever "Live from the Red Carpet."
- Ashley Park (BFA '13, Musical Theatre), currently starring on Broadway as Tuptim in "The King and I," will perform during Sunday's awards program. The show is nominated for nine Tonys, including "Best Revival of a Musical."
- Richard Winkler (BA '70, Speech), is one of the producers of "Hand to God" (nominated for Best Play), "You Can't Take It With You" (nominated for Best Revival of a Play), "Disgraced" (nominated for Best Play), and "Something Rotten" (nominated for Best Musical). He is a four-time Tony winner.
- Matthew Rego (BFA '92, Musical Theatre), whose Tony Award-winning theater production company The Araca Group is one of the producers of "Skylight" (nominated for Best Revival of a Play). Rego also produced "You Can't Take It With You" (nominated for Best Revival) and was lead producer for "Disgraced" (nominated for Best Play).
- "An American in Paris" featured more U-M graduates than any other nominated production. Will Burton (BFA '11, Musical Theatre) is a cast member and Sam Davis (BMA '98, Composition) is the dance arranger. In addition, Sandy Robertson (BBA '53, MBA '54) serves as producer, and Rachel Hoffman (BFA '99, Musical Theatre) serves as the casting director.
Many SMTD alumni have won Tony Awards over the years including James Earl Jones (acting), Jack O'Brien (directing), Margo Martindale (acting), Marian Mercer (acting) and Martin Pakledinaz (costume design), among many others.
The 69th Tony Awards first-ever "Live from the Red Carpet," hosted by Darren Criss, will stream from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on TonyAwards.com, CBS.com, Playbill.com and TimeOut.com. It will also be simulcast in New York City's Times Square via Clear Channel's SpectacolorHD screens. The awards show officially starts at 8 p.m. on CBS.