May 9, 2022

Lewis Center faculty and an alum nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards

Two Lewis Center faculty members and a Princeton University alum — Jane Cox, Jason Robert Brown, and Lileana Blain-Cruz ’06 — have been nominated for 2022 Tony Awards for their recent work on Broadway. Current faculty member and acclaimed theater director John Doyle has also been nominated for a Drama Desk Award.

Cox, Director of the Program in Theater and Professor of the Practice at Princeton University, has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design for a Play for her work on Macbeth. Blain-Cruz, a recent guest artist and Princeton alum from the Class of 2006, received a Tony nomination for Best Direction of a Play for The Skin of Our Teeth. Past visiting lecturer in the Princeton Atelier Jason Robert Brown has been nominated for a Tony for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for his work composing music for Mr. Saturday Night. Doyle, currently a Visiting Lecturer with Rank of Professor in Theater, received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical for Assassins at Classic Stage Company.

Cox has been nominated twice in past years for her lighting design on Jitney (2017) and Machinal (2014). This is Blain-Cruz’s first Tony nomination. Doyle has received three Drama Desk Awards and numerous additional nominations, while Brown has received three Tony Awards.

Jane Cox is a lighting designer for theater, opera, dance and music. She has been nominated for four Drama Desk awards, three Lucille Lortel awards, and in 2013 she was awarded the Henry Hewes Design Award for her work on The Flick. In 2016, Cox received the Ruth Morley Design Award by the League of Professional Theater Women and a British What’s Onstage award for her work on Hamlet. In 2020, she received a special citation from the Henry Hewes Design Awards as part of the design team for María Irene Fornés’ Fefu and Her Friends. Cox has taught theater and lighting design at Princeton since 2007 and became Director of the Program in Theater in 2016.

Lileana Blain-Cruz is Resident Director at Lincoln Center Theater. In 2019, she won an Obie Award for Marys Seacole at LCT3 and an Obie Award in 2017 for her direction of The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead at Signature Theater. A member of the Class of 2006 at Princeton, she has visited as a guest artist for the theater program and guest directed for student theater productions including the world premiere in 2017 of GURLS for A Festival of the Arts at Princeton to celebrate the opening of the new Lewis Arts complex. In 2020, she was selected among 10 emerging artists who received special grants from Princeton’s Mary MacKall Gwinn Hodder Fund in support of the particular challenges faced by artists in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jason Robert Brown is an award-winning composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation, including the generation-defining The Last Five Years, his debut song cycle Songs for a New World, and the seminal Parade, for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Original Score. Brown’s score for The Bridges of Madison County also received two Tony Awards for Best Score and Orchestrations. In fall 2018, Brown led a Princeton Atelier and music theater course at the Lewis Center entitled “Connecting with The Connector,” which gave students a one-off opportunity to collaborate with Brown in the development of his musical, The Connector. In addition to Princeton, Brown has taught on the faculty of USC School of Dramatic Arts, Harvard University and Emerson College.

John Doyle has been Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company since 2016. In addition to his current work on Assassins, he has directed productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures and Passion (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro (2014 Drama League Nomination, Best Revival of a Musical); as well as Dead Poets Society, Peer Gynt and As You Like It. For American stages he has also directed The Color Purple (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical; Drama Desk Award, Best Director of a Musical), Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Director of a Musical; Drama Desk Nomination Outstanding Set Design of a Musical), Company (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards Best Musical Revival; Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, Outstanding Director of a Musical), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award, Best Musical Production; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), The Visit (Tony Nomination, Best Musical; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), and many others. Doyle teaches courses for the Programs in Theater and Music Theater on acting and directing, including a course on “Actor-Musicianship” for the coming fall semester.

Winners of the 2022 Tony Awards will be announced on Sunday, June 12, at the 75th annual Tony Awards ceremony. The 66th annual Drama Desk Award winners will be announced the week of June 6.

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