The School of Stage and Screen no longer has a two-time Tony Award nominee on the faculty. That’s because Broadway star Terrence Mann, WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre, was nominated this spring for this third Tony Award, this time for his performance in the smash revival of “Pippin.”
Mann was among nominees in the category of best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, nabbing the Tony nod for his portrayal of King Charles, father to the title character. “Pippin” racked up 10 nominations and won four awards, including best musical revival. Although many odds-makers had Mann as the favorite in his category, the Tony went to Gabriel Ebert for “Matilda.”
Mann previously was nominated for his role as the original Beast in the Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast,” which also garnered Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for best actor, and as the original Inspector Javert in “Les Miserables,” which enjoyed new life as an Academy Award-winning film last year. In an interesting twist, the latest Tony nomination came as the School of Stage and Screen unveiled its 2013-14 Mainstage season, a lineup that includes a spring production of “Les Miserables,” which Mann will direct.
Mann, who came to WCU in 2006, provides invaluable insight into the onstage and behind-the-scenes tricks of the trade, said Robert Kehrberg, dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts. “Terrence not only brings his life experiences as an accomplished theatrical professional to share with our students, he also frequently takes students to New York City to go backstage and see first-hand how things really work in the world of theatre,” Kehrberg said. “He provides our students with a rare, insider’s perspective on the business of mounting major theatrical productions.”
Other highlights of Mann’s career include the roles of Rum Tum Tugger in “Cats” and Chauvelin in “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” He also has taken the Broadway stage in “Lennon,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Getting Away with Murder,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Rags,” “Barnum,” “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” and “Jekyll and Hyde.”
Mann’s wasn’t the only familiar face in Radio City Music Hall for the Tony Awards show. Former WCU student Ariana DeBose, who made her Broadway debut this season in the nominated “Bring It On” and who currently can be seen in “Motown,” performed in musical numbers from both those shows while Benny Enfinger ’08, who works as an actor in New York City, could be spotted in the audience.