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OU Alumni Shine as ‘The Outsiders’ Wins Best Musical at Tony Awards

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Headshots of Daniel Berry, Daryl Tofa and John Tupy.

OU Alumni Shine as ‘The Outsiders’ Wins Best Musical at Tony Awards


By

Date

June 21, 2024

Media Contact

Lorene Roberson
(405) 325-2384
lar@ou.edu


NORMAN, OKLA. – “The Outsiders,” featuring the contributions of three University of Oklahoma alumni, won Best Musical at the 77th Annual Tony Awards. The production, which received 12 nominations, was celebrated at the ceremony at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on June 16.

Ashton Byrum, director of the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at OU, says he is ecstatic about his former students’ successes. “It’s always a thrill to see our alums excel. Many have ‘made it’ to Broadway and beyond; we are fortunate and proud of the talented actors from the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre who have made a significant mark on Broadway this season.

“For three of our students to be involved with the stunning new production of ‘The Outsiders,’ a quintessential Oklahoma story, and to ride it all the way to a Tony Award for Best Musical, that’s icing on the cake,” he said.

Drawing from Oklahoma resident S.E. Hinton’s young adult novel and film director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film adaptation, “The Outsiders” premiered in April at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in Midtown Manhattan. OU alumni involved in the production are:

  • Daniel Berry, from Poughquag, New York, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music theatre performance in 2023 and plays the role of Paul Holden.
  • Daryl Tofa, from Santa Clara, Utah, a former student in music theatre performance portrays Two-Bit.
  • John Tupy, from Jenks, Oklahoma, who earned a bachelor’s in music theatre performance in 2019 and serves on the production’s management team.

Several other OU alumni are working in Tony-nominated musicals:

Brandon Block, an alumnus from Port Lucie, Florida, who earned a bachelor’s in music theatre performance in 2016, performed with the cast of “Water for Elephants” during the Tonys. The production, based on the best-selling novel by Sara Gruen, also received a nomination for Best Musical and is running at the Imperial Theatre.

Dorcas Leung, of Houston and a 2015 graduate with a bachelor’s in music theatre performance, plays Georgie in “The Notebook” and she’s joined in the cast by Charlie Webb, of Cumming, Georgia, also a former OU student in music theatre performance. “The Notebook” with music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson, was nominated for three Tony awards and is currently playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

“It has been a banner year for OU students in musical theater!” Byrum said.

The 2024 Tony Awards nominations were selected by an independent committee of 44 theater professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee. The awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. For a complete list of winners, visit tonyawards.com/winners.

For more information about the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theater in the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts at OU, visit ou.edu/finearts/musicaltheatre. Learn about other OU successes.

Daniel Berry signing autographs.
OU alumnus Daniel Berry draws a crowd of autograph seekers.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. As the state’s flagship university, OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. OU was named the state’s highest-ranking university in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent Best Colleges list. For more information about the university, visit ou.edu.


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