Roshunda Jones-Koumba, drama teacher at G.W. Carver Magnet High School in Houston, Texas, will receive the 2022 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. The honor will be presented to her at the Tony Awards, set for June 12 at Radio City Music Hall.
Jones-Koumba was selected from a nationwide call for entries by a panel of theatre experts from The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, and Carnegie Mellon University. “I have been in awe of her vision; her tireless work ethic; the countless hours; blood, sweat, tears, money, food that she’s given to her students in the community around her,” reads one submitted student endorsement. “And she taught us, usually Black and brown kids from inner city communities, that we could do anything.”
Along with teaching drama classes, Jones-Koumba directs productions at Carver, whose Thespian troupe (#6753) has earned multiple regional and national awards for competition pieces and one-act plays. Jones-Koumba is a past recipient of the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award and the International Thespian Society Inspirational Theatre Educator Award, and was inducted into the Texas Thespians Hall of Fame.
“Our students are doing amazing things,” shares Jones-Koumba. “Many are working actors on stage and on television; some are continuing their education; some are pursuing careers outside of performing. In theatre we accept all, so you’re not afraid to be yourself. And that gives you confidence to do anything you want, enables you to work with different people, and to be a better all-around person,” Jones-Koumba said. “Theatre is Life. I’m very grateful to The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University for this honor.”
The award comes with a $10,000 grant for Carver’s theatre program and tickets to the Tony Awards and Gala. Jones-Koumba’s students will also receive a master class taught by CMU Drama professors.
Following last year’s two-part broadcast shared by CBS and Paramount+, the 2022 Tony Awards will include an hour of exclusive programming streaming on Paramount+ June 12 from 7 PM ET, followed by the three-hour awards ceremony airing live on CBS and streaming simultaneously on Paramount+ (for premium-level subscribers only) from 8 PM ET, making this year’s ceremony the first in Tony Awards history to be available live nationwide. The broadcast will also be available to stream on demand on Paramount+ for all membership tiers following the live stream. Oscar winner Ariana DeBose will host the awards ceremony, with the initial hour set to be hosted by POTUS‘ Julianne Hough and American Buffalo‘s Darren Criss.