The Tony Awards returned to Radio City Music Hall this week, and the USC School of Dramatic Arts was amply represented with nominees, presenters and attendees.
The celebration, held June 12 by The American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. It was the 75th anniversary of the awards and the proceedings were broadcast live coast to coast for the first time.
Dean Emily Roxworthy was part of a sizeable group of USC alums and faculty at Radio City Music Hall for the event. They were able to celebrate a number of alumni who were honored, including Patrick J. Adams BFA ’04, one of the stars of Take Me Out, which won the Tony for Best Revival of a Play; Shiloh Goodin BA ‘06, who is in the cast of Paradise Square and performed a knockout number with the company during the telecast; and USC Cinematic Arts alumnus Kevin McCollum ‘89, one of the lead producers of the musical Six, which was nominated for six awards and took home two.
Said the Dean: “This year’s Tony Awards celebrated a vibrant season of live theatre in New York, with a spectacular evening that only Broadway could produce. It also celebrated SDA’s prominence in the New York theatre scene, which complements our strong presence here on the West Coast through L.A.’s equally vibrant film, TV and theatre industry.
“I am proud that SDA straddles both worlds and was so prominently featured on the Tony stage and in its nominations and awards. We look forward to celebrating future Tony Awards with our beloved Broadway community for many years to come.”
One SDA family member finished the evening with two Tony Awards. SDA Board member Linda Bernstein Rubin won Tonys for producing both the play The Lehman Trilogy and the revival of the musical comedy Company. USC Thornton’s Julie Boardman BS ‘04 also received an award for producing Company.
Trojans at the event, including Kate Cannova BA ‘03 (a producer for the musical Funny Girl) and Associate Dean of Advancement Sara Fousekis, were also able to cheer on SDA faculty member Colman Domingo, who presented an award alongside actress Jessica Chastain. They presented Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play to Jesse Tyler Ferguson for Take Me Out. Another Trojan, USC Thornton alum Renée Elise Goldsberry, also was a presenter that night, as was former SDA parent – and student favorite “Spotlight@SDA” speaker Bryan Cranston. Cranston is a two-time Tony Award winner.
A former SDA faculty member, composer-lyricist Jason Robert Brown, was nominated for his work on the score of the Billy Crystal film-turned-Broadway production Mr. Saturday Night.
A memorable introduction of the musical number from Girl From the North Country, which was nominated for seven awards, was given by Anthony Edwards ‘82. Edwards, who is married to Mare Winningham, one of the stars of the musical, on May 13 was a last-minute substitute for the role of Dr. Walker, normally played by Robert Joy, who had contracted Covid. With book in hand, Edwards, an Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe-winning actor, made his Broadway musical debut and saved the performance from being canceled.
The event’s “In Memoriam” segment included former SDA faculty member Rae Allen, who was a three-time Tony nominee and won a Tony as Best Featured Actress in And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little. She died in Los Angeles this year at the age of 95.