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2025 Excellence in Theatre Education Official Rules and Guidelines


  • All Candidates for the Award must be legal residents of the United States to be eligible.
  • The Candidate must be a current, living teacher employed at an accredited K-12 institution, or employed at a reputable theatre organization providing educational programming directed toward students in the K-12 range, located within the United States.
  • They must be a teacher whose position is dedicated to, or includes aspects of, theatre education.
  • Retired teachers are not eligible.
  • Volunteer teachers are not eligible.
  • Unfortunately at this time, Posthumous awards are not eligible.
  • To be eligible, submissions must be completed and received by Tony Award Productions through the online application portal.
  • All applicable federal state, and local laws and regulations apply.
  • Tony Award Productions reserves the right to reject any candidate submission which does not conform to these rules.
  • Employees of the Tony Award Productions, the American Theatre Wing, and The Broadway League, any presenting sponsors, and any of their respective entities, subsidiaries, and immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses) and/or persons living in the same households as such persons of each are not eligible to be considered for or to receive this award.

How to Submit a Teacher for Consideration

Individual ("Applicants") must submit an eligible teacher. Applicants can be a current student, former student, or member of the teacher’s community.

Self-Nominations direct from teachers are not accepted for 2025.

The strongest and most successful submissions often incorporate the voice of the teacher plus support from at least one past student, the school or program, and the community.

All Applicants Must:

  • Complete an application in the online portal accessible through tonyawards.com
  • Create a video essay. Submissions must not exceed 3 minutes. Video must be in MOV, AVI or WMV format, minimum resolution 320x240. The best videos will be specific, and include the voice of the teacher and context for their extraordinary work.
  • Supply three letters of reference in support of the teacher. Applicants are free to submit from parties they feel will make the strongest case for their nominee. 
  • Answer additional questions regarding the school or program.
  • All materials must be in English.

For 2025, materials from the 2015 - 2024 cycles may be reused, in whole or in part. These materials are accessible for review through the online portal, and accessing your previously submitted application. Additional information may be required, and refreshing/replacing past material is highly encouraged.

Videos must meet the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  • Videos must be less than three minutes long.
  • Videos must be suitable for display and distribution by Tony Award Productions on its websites, media channels, and other educational and promotional uses.
  • Tony Award Productions reserves the right to reject entries including but not limited to profanity, violence, defamatory statements, nudity, or any material which appears to invade the rights of any person or entity.

Written nominations are not accepted for 2025.

Letters of Reference:

  • Applications must include three letters of recommendation.
  • Letters of recommendation must be uploaded in a .pdf format. No other file types will be accepted.
  • Letters must be submitted through the online portal, either by the applicant or uploaded directly by the party providing the letter of reference. Should the party providing the letter of reference prefer to upload the material, they will only have that opportunity once the applicant has completed the submission form including all required information and materials. Therefore, we encourage all applicants to complete their submissions a full seven days in advance of the extended deadline, or by January 13, 2025.
  • Applicants may not write any of these reference letters.

Any entries that do not contain all requested information will not be considered.

The Application Period

The application period will end on January 13, 2025. All applications must be complete (including required letters of recommendation) and submitted online by 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time on January 13, 2025 in accordance with these Official Rules to be eligible.


The winner will receive a special Excellence in Theatre Education Award Statuette and recognition in conjunction with the presentation of the 2025 Tony Awards. The winner will be required to sign a Statuette Receipt Agreement to ensure that the Statuette is used solely for its intended purpose of recognizing excellence in theatre education.

Winners of an Excellence in the Theatre Education Award may not be promoted as recipients of a Tony Award®, and those put forward to participate may not be promoted as Tony Award Nominees.

A cash grant in an amount to be determined by Tony Award Productions will be presented to the selected awardees’ school or program by check. Winners are solely responsible for any taxes on their respective prizes.

Requirements of those selected as Winners

The award winner will be selected by an esteemed committee consisting of Tony Award Productions, Carnegie Mellon University, and industry professional members based on the Materials submitted by Applicants. If selected, finalists/winners will be contacted by phone and in writing by Tony Award Productions. They will be asked to submit additional paperwork, including an information and release form indicating acceptance of these Official Rules and permitting Tony Award Productions to use the Candidate’s name and other identifying information in connection with the Award.

All necessary completed Award information must be returned to Tony Award Productions within 7 days of the date notice was sent or Finalist status will be forfeited and an alternate Finalist may be selected. In the event that a teacher is selected and elects not to participate or receive the Award or otherwise fails to respond to the Award information, Tony Award Productions and all other parties involved commit to maintaining the confidentiality of all information submitted.

Notification of winner status must be kept confidential until the winners are announced by Tony Award Productions. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification.

Materials and Use

If an Award Recipient is selected and elects to receive an Award, the name, occupation, hometown and relevant school(s) of both the Recipient and Applicant may be made public as well as any personal information contained in the Materials and otherwise submitted by the Applicant or Recipient.

By submitting an application, participants authorize Tony Award Productions to use submitted video material on The Tony Awards website, social media channels, and in promotional and program information, and irrevocably assigns and transfers to Tony Award Productions ("Sponsor") any and all rights, title and interest in each element of the Entry (including the video and application), including, without limitation, all copyrights, and waives all moral rights in those works.

If an application is not selected or a submitted individual elects to decline an Award, all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure all information submitted in support of the Candidate will remain confidential except as among the staff of Tony Award Productions and other designated adjudicating parties.

All materials submitted in connection with the process, and all information provided Tony Award Productions in connection therewith are, or shall become, the property of Tony Award Productions.

Limitations of Liability and Release

No liability or responsibility is assumed by Tony Award Productions, The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Sponsors, or Contest Parties (“The Released Parties”) resulting from any user's participation in or attempt to participate in the Contest or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with participating in the Contest.

No responsibility or liability is assumed by the Released Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions.

Released Parties are not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of prizes or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Web Site.

By participating in the Contest, the Entrant releases the Released Parties from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to such Entrant's participation in the Contest.

By accepting a prize, winners agree that the Released Parties shall not be liable for any loss or injury resulting from participation in the Contest, or the acceptance or use of any prize.

The Released Parties are not liable in the event that any portion of the Contest or scheduled Events are cancelled due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other condition beyond their control.

Tony Award Productions reserve the right to determine the final number of Awards based on the quality of nominations received and do not commit to presenting a specific number of Awards, or funds in this or any future year.


No substitution of prize will be offered, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Prizes are non-transferable. 

Tony Award Productions reserves the right to require selected nominees and nominators to submit to a confidential background check to confirm eligibility as a condition of awarding any prize to help ensure that the use of any such person in advertising or publicity for the Contest will not bring Contest Parties into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule or reflect unfavorably on the Contest as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

Tony Award Productions reserves the right, at its sole discretion to cancel, modify or terminate the Contest. Further, Tony Award Productions reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual deemed to be (a) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest; (b) violating the Official Rules; or (c) acting in a disruptive manner or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.

Applicants/Candidates/Finalists agree that the Sponsor has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from this Contest and that all decisions of Sponsor are final and binding.

This Contest is governed by the laws of the state of New York, and by entering; Entrants/Finalists agree that all claims or disputes must be resolved exclusively in the federal or state courts in New York City.

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