THEATREWORKS SILICON VALLEY TO RECEIVE 2019 REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will be the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award, which carries a grant of $25,000. Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said: “We are thrilled to present the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. The work they produce celebrates the human spirit, they have helped develop hundreds of vibrant new plays and musicals that are now being performed in theaters across America, and they have pioneered education programs that inspire thousands of students each year, creating future generations of creative artists and enthusiastic audiences.” The company’s Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley said: “I am deeply honored to accept the Regional Theatre Tony Award for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. I can think of no better way to begin TheatreWorks’s 50th Anniversary Season than with this highest honor, a testament to the passion and imaginative spirit of the artists whose work has been presented on TheatreWorks’s stages.” Kelley, who is launching his 50th and final season as artistic director, created the company as a new Stanford graduate.

Since its founding in 1970, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, a non-profit, professional theater company based in Menlo Park, has become one of the nation’s leaders in cultivating and producing new musicals and plays, developing and presenting 69 World Premieres (with the 70th coming up this season) by new and veteran artists, in addition to 167 regional premieres, and hundreds of works developed in the company’s New Works Initiatives. The company’s annual New Works Festival and Writers’ Retreat programs attract authors and composers of national stature providing an artistic home in which America’s theatre artists can create new works. The company has developed scores of works which have gone on to regional, Off-Broadway, and Broadway productions. Notably, the Best Musical Tony Award and Olivier award-winning “Memphis” was first workshopped and received its world premiere at TheatreWorks. TheatreWorks offers myriad outreach programs, reaching some 25,000 students annually with in-class workshops, student matinees, summer camps, the Young Playwrights Project, the acclaimed “Oskar” school tour which addresses issues such as bullying, stress and inclusion, the Children’s Healing Project at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital which serves children in long-term care and their siblings, and a newly piloted theatre program for children at Ronald McDonald House. More information can be found at


PENINSULA HIGH SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS ARE NOMINATED FOR RITA MORENO CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL HONORS. The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors, Sponsored by Children’s Musical Theater San Jose and Broadway San Jose, recognize outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre outside of the Los Angeles area. Among this year’s nominated schools are Hillsdale High School, San Mateo High School and Junipero Serra High School, all in San Mateo, and Sacred Heart Prep Atherton. Peninsula students nominated for awards in a variety of categories are Teagan Reynolds (“Ella” in “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella”) San Mateo High School; Stefanie Richardson (“Belle” in “Beauty and the Beast”) Hillsdale High School; Bridget Callahan (“The Wedding Singer”) Junipero Serra High School; and Annie Crousore (“Chicago”) Sacred Heart Prep Atherton. Nominees will compete before a panel of nationally recognized judges 7:30 p.m. May 13 at San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts, 255 S. Almaden Blvd. Judges include casting director Michael Donovan, producer, director and choreographer Andy Ferrara, and Broadway actress and musical theater professor Tory Ross Roman. Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress Rita Moreno will meet with all the nominees prior to the ceremony, as well as speak during the ceremony. Tickets ($25) for The Rita Moreno California High School Musical Honors are available at or (800) 982-ARTS (2787).

Susan Cohn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association. She may be reached at

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