Drama alum Stephen McKinley Henderson nominated for Tony Award, over a dozen UNCSA alumni connected to nominated productions

UNCSA School of Drama alumnus Stephen McKinley Henderson (B.F.A. ’72) has been nominated for a Tony Award for best actor. In addition, multiple alumni from the schools of Dance, Design and Production (D&P) and Drama have connections to the 2023 Tonys. The nominations, which honor theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, were announced Tuesday.

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Stephen McKinley Henderson

Nominated for best actor in a play for his role as Walter "Pops" Washington in “Between Riverside and Crazy,” Henderson previously received Obie and Lucille Lortel awards during the off-Broadway run. Earlier, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his featured performance in “Fences” and received a Drama Desk Award for his role in the ensemble of “Jitney.”

Henderson has been acting on stage and screen for decades. His body of work includes numerous plays by August Wilson, recurring roles in long-running TV series, and appearances in several Oscar-winning films. Henderson is slated to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Lucille Lortel Awards, the preeminent honor presented exclusively to recognize outstanding achievement off-Broadway, on Sunday, May 7. On June 6, he will receive the Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award at the Drama Desk Awards, which honor shows that opened on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway during the 2022-2023 New York theater season. Henderson was the 2021 UNCSA Commencement speaker, and received an honorary doctorate.

Additional UNCSA alumni connected to nominated projects include:

  • Drama alumnus Gregg Mozgala (High School ’96) was a lead actor in “Cost of Living,” which has nominations in several categories including best play, best supporting actor and actress, and best direction.
  • Several D&P alumni worked on “New York, New York,” which is nominated in nine categories including best musical. Johnny Milani (B.F.A. ’09) is the production stage manager, Romello Huins (B.F.A. ’21) is the assistant scenic designer, JoAnn Battat (B.F.A. ’21) is the assistant hair supervisor, and alumna Rose Rue (B.F.A. ’22) is a hairstylist.
The "New York, New York" company celebrates the nominations

The "New York, New York" company celebrates the nominations / Facebook

  • Drama alumni are connected to “Camelot,” which is nominated for best musical revival, best scenic design for a musical and other categories. Alumni Matias De La Flor (B.F.A. ’22) and Paul Whitty (B.F.A. ’02) were part of the ensemble cast; De La Flor understudied for Lancelot. D&P alumnus Harley Haberman (B.F.A. '20) was the assistant wig designer, alumna Alex Howard (B.F.A. '20) was the wig supervisors and alumna Amelia Brown (B.F.A. '22) was the assistant wig supervisor.
  • D&P alumna Ashley Wise (M.F.A. ’21) was the associate wig designer for “Ain’t No Mo’,” which is nominated in the best play, best direction of a play and several additional categories.
  • Drama alumna Courtnee Carter (B.F.A. ’16) played the role of Angela in “Parade,” which is nominated for best direction of a musical, best costume design and several additional categories.
  • Two D&P alumni worked in nominated categories on “Sweeney Todd, which is nominated for best musical revival and more. Jaechelle Johnson (B.F.A. ’16) was the assistant sound designer on “Todd,” which is nominated for best sound design for a musical, and Craig Stelzenmuller (B.F.A. ’01) was the associate lighting designer on “Todd,” which is also nominated in the best lighting design for a musical category.
"Sweeny Todd"

"Sweeney Todd" / Facebook

  • Dance alumnus Matthew Murphy (High School ’03) worked on numerous projects including “Sweeney Todd,” “Life of Pi,” “& Juliet,” "Some Like it Hot" and “Shucked” as the production photographer.
  • Drama alumni Avery Glymph (B.F.A. ’95) and Brian Thomas Abraham (B.F.A. ’99) played several roles in “Life of Pi,” which is nominated in multiple categories including best direction of a play, best scenic design and others. Glymph’s roles include Father Martin and Admiral Jackson, while Abraham’s roles include Cook and the voice of Richard Parker.
  • D&P alumnus Kenneth Wills (B.F.A. ’12) was the associate lighting designer on “Shucked,” which is nominated in several categories including best musical and best original score.
  • Bethany Joy Costumes, created and owned by D&P alumna Bethany J. Itterley (B.F.A. ’11) created pieces for five projects nominated in a variety of categories including “Camelot,” “& Juliet,” “Parade,” “KPOP” and “Ain’t No Mo’.” Additionally D&P alumna Rebecca Eckes (B.F.A. ’18, M.F.A. ’21) worked with Bethany Joy Constumes as a draper for "Parade."
"Ain't No Mo'"

"Ain't No Mo'" / Facebook

  • D&P alumna M. Meriwether Goldstein (B.F.A. ’10) was the assistant costume designer on “Parade.”
  • Music almuna Mary Mitchell Campbell  (High School Music ’92) was the music supervisor for "Some Like it Hot," which is nominated for best musical.
  • D&P alumna Caitlin Molloy, who studied in the graduate wig and makeup program, was the hair and makeup supervisor for “Some Like it Hot.” 
  • D&P alumna Sarah Penland (M.F.A. 22) was the assistant production manager on "Some Like it Hot" and "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window."  
  • D&P alumnus Brad Peterson (B.F.A. 09) has several connections to several nominated projects. He was the associate video designer on "Camelot" and "Prima Facie," the video programmer on "Leopoldstadt," and worked on production video for "Life of Pi."
  • D&P alumnus Sean Beach (B.F.A. 09) was the lighting programmer on "Some Like it Hot."
  • D&P alumnus Alex Fogel (B.F.A. 09) was the lighting programmer on "Sweeney Todd."
  • D&P alumnus Henry Wilen (B.F.A. 18) was the moving light programmer for "Leopoldstadt," which received several nominations including best lighting design of a play.
  • D&P alumna Tracy Cowit (M.F.A. ’16) is a sound engineer on "Leopoldstadt."
  • Music alumna Rheagan Osteen (B.M. ’03) played french horn and Kristina Gitterman-Musser (High School Music ’86) played violin for "Camelot."
  • Music alumna Jessica McJunkins (B.M. ’09) played violin as part of the orchestra for "Sweeney Todd."
  • D&P alumnus Jeremiah Lamm (B.F.A. ’09) is the owner of Empire Technical Fabrications which built the scenery for “The Sign in Sidney Burstein’s Window,” which was nominated for best revival of a play.

The 76th annual Tony Awards preshow will air live Sunday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. on Pluto TV and the ceremony will be live on CBS and Paramount Plus at 8 p.m.

Information in this release reflects what could be obtained by press time; updates will be made with additional connections as they are brought to our attention.

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May 03, 2023