NEW YORK CITY: The Tony Awards organization has announced Marilyn McCormick as the recipient of this year’s Excellence in Theatre Education Award. The award, presented by Carnegie Mellon University, recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated an impact on their students. McCormick was selected by a panel from among 1,100 entries. The Detroit-based teacher will be recognized at the 2016 Tony Awards.
“Marilyn is a shining example of a theatre educator who not only provides her students with the fundamentals to be successful performers, but also the guidance and confidence to thrive after they graduate,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement. “Her dedication, commitment, and passion for not only the arts but for her students was evident in the heartfelt applications—videos and letters that we received on her behalf. We are inspired by her and honored to present the Excellence in Theatre Education Award to her.”
McCormick is the drama instructor within the performing arts curriculum at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. She teaches an introductory theatre course on theatre etiquette and technique. She also mounts original plays with high school students, who also learn Meisner, Stanislavsky, and the Alexander Technique under her direction. McCormick aids her students in the college application process, and even attends the Unified College Auditions and college campuses to support her students at their tryouts. In addition, she directs a play and a musical each year, and oversees a comedy sketch group that performs to raise money for the self-funded performing arts department.
“To think that my students recommended me for this award—that’s an honor,” said McCormick in a statement. “I am overwhelmed to be receiving this recognition, and I can’t wait to go to the Tony Awards. I have always told my students, ‘Good, better, best; never let it rest, until your good gets better and your better is best.’ Well, this is certainly the best!”
The finalists for the award are Kevin G. Coleman, director of education at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., and Sarah Crowell, artistic director at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, Calif.