Baltimore's CJay Philip Wins 2024 Excellence in Theatre Education Award | Playbill

Tony Awards Baltimore's CJay Philip Wins 2024 Excellence in Theatre Education Award

Presented by The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University, the honor recognizes excellent and impactful arts educators.

CJay Philip has been named the 2024 winner of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award by The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University. Philip is the founder and creative director of Dance & Bmore in Baltimore, Maryland.

The honor includes a $10,000 award for Dance & Bmore's theatre program, along with tickets to The Tony Awards (where Philip will receive the award) and Gala. Philip's students will also receive a master class led by CMU Drama professors.

Philip began her theatrical career as a performer, appearing in the original Broadway productions of BigStreet Corner Symphony, and Hairspray, and national tours of Hairspray and Legally Blonde. She created Dance & Bmore in 2010, seeking to foster human connections through movement, music, and theatre. Through partnerships, the school looks to give equal access to their opportunities to a diverse range of young artists, regardless of background or circumstances. In fact, enrollment is free, and students often earn honorariums or salaries for community work done through the company.

“Theatre is made in many ways, by many people,” says Philip in a statement. “That’s why we focus on helping young people learn about the many different aspects of working in the theatre. Exposure to the theatre and theatre arts improves everyone’s quality of life.”

“CJay actively works to remove barriers and create an inclusive environment in all Dance & Bmore’s theatre programs,” adds Dance & Bmore Director of Operations Lauren Erazo, who submitted Philip’s recommendation for the award.

Philip was selected by a panel of theatre experts comprising representatives of the American Theatre Wing, the Broadway League, and Carnegie Mellon University, following a nationwide call for entries.

“We are thrilled to honor CJay Philip with the Excellence in Theatre Education Award," say Broadway League Interim President Jason Laks and American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens in a joint statement. "Her unwavering dedication to providing her students with a safe space to foster their knowledge of theatre and build their confidence, while actively creating inclusive and accessible roles and programs, has instilled a passion and respect for the performing arts in the generations to come."

“CJay’s dedication to nurturing future generations of performers, creators, and art enthusiasts is extraordinary,” adds CMU President Farnam  Jahanian. “Carnegie Mellon University is grateful to help elevate her story for the world to enjoy and thrilled to celebrate CJay and her enduring contributions as an arts educator, advocate, and performer."

Nominations for the 2024 Tony Awards were revealed April 30, with Hell's Kitchen and Stereophonic taking the mantle as the most Tony-nominated productions of the seasons with 13 nods each. See the full list of nominations here.

Winners will be named at The 77th Annual Tony Awards, set for June 16 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. The evening will kick off with The Tony Awards: Act One, streaming for free on Pluto TV. Details are to be announced. The 77th Annual Tony Awards will follow beginning at 8 PM ET, broadcasting live on CBS (check local listings) and streaming live (for premium-level subscribers) via Paramount+. All Paramount+ subscribers will have on demand access to the broadcast beginning June 17. Stage and screen star Ariana DeBose will be back for the third consecutive year to host.

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