UNCSA alumnus Joe Mantello is nominated for a Tony Award

Joe Mantello, an alumnus of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, is nominated for a Tony Award as Best Director for “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.” UNCSA alumni are working on at least 11 additional shows that are nominated for multiple awards, including top honors in their categories.

Tony nominations were announced Tuesday. The awards will be presented June 10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and will be broadcast live on CBS.

SpongeBob SquarePants

"SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical" is nominated for 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

UNCSA alumni are working on Broadway’s two most nominated shows, which are competing for the Best Musical Tony—SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Mean Girls,” each with a dozen nominations. Also competing in that category, with UNCSA connections, are “The Band’s Visit” and “Frozen.” 

Alumni are working on Best Play nominees “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and “Farinelli and the King.”

In the category of Best Revival of Musical, alumni are involved with “Carousel,” “My Fair Lady” and “Once On This Island.

Under Mantello’s direction, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women” is nominated for a total of six Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play. Alumni are working on two additional nominees in that category—“Angels in America” and “The Iceman Cometh.”

Three Tall Women

Joe Mantello is nominated for a Tony Award as Best Director for "Three Tall Women." / Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

Mantello, who graduated in 1984, has won two previous Best Director Tony Awards, in 2003 for the play “Take Me Out” and in 2004 for the musical “Assassins.” He’s been nominated three additional times as a director (“Love, Valour, Compassion!” in 1995, “Glengarry Glen Ross” in 2005, and “The Humans” in 2016) and twice as an actor (“Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” in 1993 and “The Normal Heart” in 2011).

In 2004, he received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of “Wicked,” called “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” by The New York Times. He won a Drama Desk Award for Featured Actor in 2003 for “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches” and an Obie for his performance in “Love, Valour! Compassion!” in 1994-95.

According to information available at press time, nominated shows and their UNCSA connections from the Schools of Dance, Design and Production (D&P), Drama and Music, include the following:

“Angels in America,” nominated for 11 Tonys: Benjamin Freedman (D&P ’14), production assistant; Leann Catena (D&P ’12) hair and makeup artist.

“The Band’s Visit,” nominated for 11 Tonys including Best Musical – Orin Wolf (High school Drama ’97) is lead producer, Ken Willis (D&P ’12), assistant lighting designer; Scott “Gus” Poitras (D&P ’96), head carpenter.

“Carousel,” nominated for 11 Tonys -- Joel E. Silver (High School Drama ‘96) is associate lighting designer.

“Farinelli and the King,” nominated four four Tonys -- Lucas Hall (Drama ’03) is in the cast.

“Frozen,” nominated for three Tonys -- Timothy Mackabee (D&P ’03) is associate scenic designer; Sean Beach (D&P ’09) is moving light programmer; Asher Robinson (D&P ’12) is video technician; and Madeline LeCuyer (D&P ’14) is hair assistant.

Once On This Island

"Once On This Island" is nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. / Photo: Dia Dipasupi

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” nominated for 10 Tonys -- Brian Abraham (Drama ’99) is in the cast; Art Friedlander (D&P ’79) is head of electrics at the theater; Hugh Hardyman (D&P ’92) is Foy Fly computer operator; Andy Meeker (D&P ’99) runs props; former D&P faculty member Frank Lombardi is stage manager.

“The Iceman Cometh,” nominated for eight Tonys -- Matthew Matulewicz (High School Drama ‘11, D&P ‘15) is assistant stage manager.

“Junk,” nominated for two Tonys including Best Play and Best Lighting Design – Brad Peterson (D&P ’09) is associate projection designer and Lisa Renkel (D&P ’15) is assistant projection designer

“Mean Girls,” nominated for 12 Tonys, including Best Sound Design -- Jessica Weeks (D&P ’10) is deck sound engineer; Mary Mitchell Campbell (High School Music ‘92) is music director; Tricia Barsamian (D&P ’04) is associate costume designer; M. Meriwether Goldstein (D&P ’10) is shopper; Jon Goldman (D&P ’11) is assistant lighting designer.

“Once On This Island,” nominated for eight Tonys – Isaac Powell (Drama ‘17), T. Oliver Reid (Music ‘93) and Phillip Boykin (Music)  are in the cast; Camille A. Brown (Dance ‘01) is choreographer; Mary Kathryn Flynt (D&P ‘04) is stage manager.

“SpongeBob SquarePants,” nominated for 12 Tonys including Best Sound Design – Tracy Cowit (D&P ’16) is assistant sound designer; Wesley Taylor (Drama ’08), Allan K. Washington (Drama ’13) and Brian Ray Norris (Drama) are in the cast; Asher Robinson (D&P ’12) works on production video.

Additionally, Tiffany Little Canfield (Drama ’00) is a casting agent for Telsey + Company, which has cast “My Fair Lady” (10 nominations), “Carousel,” “Mean Girls,” “Frozen,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Once On This Island.”

by Lauren Whitaker 

May 02, 2018