Students, Alumni, and Faculty Shine at the 74th Annual Tony Awards

BY Emma Schillage, September 28, 2021

Last Sunday night was the 74th Annual Tony Awards. Many Columbia University students, alumni, and faculty worked on productions that won.


Moulin Rouge! The Musical stacked some of the biggest category awards of the ceremony, including: Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical (Alex Timbers), Best Choreography (Sonya Tayeh), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Derek McLane), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Justin Townsend), Best Costume Design in a Musical (Catherine Zuber), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Peter Hylenski), Best Orchestration (Katie Kresek '18 TC, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine), Best Performance of a Leading Actor in a Musical (Aaron Tveit), and Best Performance of a Featured Actor in a Musical (Danny Burstein). Columbia faculty, alumni, and students who worked on the production include Professor Michael Passaro as Production Stage Manager, alumna Lynn Spector ’15 as Script Supervisor, and Stage Management students Hadley Armstrong and Robbie Armstrong as Stage Management Interns. Adjunct Professor Chris Boneau was the publicist for the production.


A Soldier’s Play won in the Best Revival of a Play category, as well as Best Featured Actor in a Play (David Alan Grier). Writing alumnus and veteran Christopher Wolfe ’18 was the Military Consultant for the production. He trained the entire cast on military customs and courtesy, including saluting, standing at attention, and parade rest.


The 11-time nominated play The Inheritance won many of the big categories including: Best Direction of a Play (Stephen Daldry), Best Performance of a Leading Actor in a Play ​​(Andrew Burnap), and Best Performance of a Featured Actress in a Play (Lois Smith). Alumna Jennifer Ainsworth ’14, along with her company Invisible Wall Productions, and Alumnus Jamie Forshaw ’09, along with his company Madison Wells Media, served as co-producers on the production.


The Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill was also up for some of the big categories at the Tonys. It won for Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance by a Featured Actress (Lauren Patten). Jagged Little Pill was directed by alumna Diane Paulus ’97. Columbia College alumnus Tom Kitt ('99 CC) orchestrated the production.


Tina: The Tina Turner Musical won Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Adrienne Warren). The production team included alumnae Rachel Zucker ’17 and Jessica Emmanus ’19 as Stage Manager and Production Assistant Stage Manager.


A Christmas Carol was another contender to beat at the Tonys, stacking awards for Best Original Score (Christopher Nightingale), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Rob Howell), Best Costume Design of a Play (Rob Howell), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Hugh Vanstone), and Best Sound Design of a Play (Simon Baker). Adjunct Assistant Professor and Writing alumnus Ryan Murphy ’04 and alumna Joan Wyatt ’17 served as the Production Manager and Stage Manager, respectively.


Finally, Mary-Louise Parker won the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for The Sound Inside. Adjunct Assistant Professor Dan Hoffman serves as the Head Carpenter on the production.


Congratulations to all the winners!