Kent State alumni take home Tony awards

Suzi Starheim

Broadway performers credit award-winning experience to KSU

In 2006, alumnus John Moauro starred in Kent State’s production of “Hair,” but it was his performance in the Broadway version that earned him a Tony Award at the June 7 ceremonies.

Moauro and the “Hair” cast won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical, in which he played a tribe member. The show was also nominated in eight other categories.

Alice Ripley, a 1986 graduate, also won a Tony. She earned her award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Diana Goodman in “Next to Normal,” which was nominated for 11 awards.

Ripley also took home the Helen Hayes, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards.

After graduating with a degree in fine arts, Ripley has consistently starred in Broadway productions since her debut in “Tommy” in 1993.

Apart from her acting career, Ripley also spends time writing lyrics and recording with her band, RIPLEY.

Although Ripley has been performing for the last 16 years, “Hair” was Moauro’s debut.

Cindy Stillings, director of the School of Theatre and Dance, said she remembers Moauro very well because he was a student recently.

Stilling took senior theatre majors to New York this past March to audition for casting directors. There, they met Moauro, saw the production and took a tour behind the scenes.

Stilling said Moauro was the president of the Musical Theatre Student Organization and participated in most, if not all, musicals and student directed productions while at Kent State.

“Moauro credits his role in ‘Hair’ here and his experience here with being cast in the original production of ‘Hair’ in Central Park,” said Stillings .

Contact news correspondent Suzi Starheim at [email protected].