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Kent State University Alumni Win at Tony Awards (06/09/2009)

Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance proudly announces that alumni Alice Ripley, ’86, and John Moauro, ’07, are Tony Award winners.

Ripley won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in the hit Broadway musical “Next to Normal.” Ripley has also received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Helen Hayes Award nominations for this performance.

“Next to Normal,” currently playing at the Booth Theatre on Broadway, was nominated for 11 awards. The musical also won Tony Awards for Best Original Score Written for Theatre and Best Orchestration.

Ripley was born in San Leandro, Calif., and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Kent State and received her bachelor’s degree in musical theatre studying under the tutelage of well-known theatre experts Dr. Louis Erdmann and Dr. Bill Zucchero. Ripley played Philia in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in the E. Turner Stump Theatre and performed in the 1985 summer season at Porthouse Theatre.

Her Broadway credits include “Side Show” (Drama Desk, Tony Award nominations), “The Rocky Horror Show, James Joyce’s The Dead,” “Sunset Boulevard” and “The Who’s Tommy.” Ripley’s Off- Broadway and regional theatre creditsinclude Next to Normal,” “Five Flights,” “James Joyce’s The Dead,” “The Vagina Monologues,” “Tell Me on a Sunday (Helen Hayes nomination), Shakespeare in Hollywood”(Helen Hayes nomination), Company (Helen Hayes nomination). She is also credited on the recordings Next to Normal,” “Little Fish,” “Skinner/Ripley: Raw at Town Hall,” “Sondheim: The Stephen Sondheim Album,” “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “The Stephen Schwartz Album,” “Duets,” “Unsuspecting Hearts,” “Side Show” and “The Who’s Tommy.” With her band RIPLEY, she has written and produced the albums “Everything’s Fine,” “Ripley EP andOuttasite.”

Moauro, from Canton, Ohio, is currently performing in “Hair,” which won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.Currently playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway, “Hair” was nominated for eight awards.

While at Kent State, Moauro appeared in the 2005 production of “HONK!” in the lead role of Ugly under the direction of Eric van Baars. In 2007, he was cast in the Roe Green Visiting Director series production of “Hair” in the role of Claude under the direction of Victoria Bussert.

After moving to New York City, Moauro was cast in the Delacorte Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park series' off-Broadway production of “Hair.” Moauro was cast as a tribe member in this open-air production that played an extended run during the summer of 2008 under the direction of Diane Paulus.

He was cast again under the direction of Paulus as a tribe member in the production of “Hair” that opened on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on March 31, 2009, marking Moauro’s Broadway debut.

An interview with Alice Ripley can be found at WKSU FM news at


Media Contact: Effie A. Tsengas, 330-672-4102,


This page was last modified on September 8, 2009