April 30, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Prom, produced by Illinois Wesleyan University alum Bill Damaschke ’85, has been nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.
Nominations were announced Tuesday, April 30, ahead of the 73rd annual Tony Awards, which will take place Sunday, June 9, at 7 p.m. CT on CBS, live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Damaschke graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 1985 with a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in music theatre. Damaschke runs StoryKey Entertainment, which is responsible for producing musicals including The Prom, currently on Broadway, and Moulin Rouge!, scheduled to make its Broadway debut this summer. He previously served as president of Animation and Family Entertainment at Skydance Media following two decades with DreamWorks Animation, where he rose from an entry-level production assistant to the company’s chief creative officer.
The Prom is a musical comedy about Broadway stars on a mission to change the world, a girl who wants to change her small town, and a love that brings them all together. New York Magazine called The Prom “smart and big-hearted” and The New York Times declared it a Critic’s Pick and said it “makes you believe in musical comedy again!”
Along with its Best Musical Tony nomination, The Prom was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score Written for the Theatre, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Brooks Ashmanskas, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Beth Leavel, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Caitlin Kinnunen, and Best Director of a Musical –– Casey Nicholaw.
A Chicago native, Damaschke earned Illinois Wesleyan’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and spoke at Commencement in 2016.
By John Twork