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Purchase Professors Earn Drama Desk Nominations, 'Hamilton' Makes History

SUNY Purchase College Professor Anita Yavich.
SUNY Purchase College Professor Anita Yavich. Photo Credit: Submitted
Riccardo Hernandez, assistant professor of theatre design/technology at SUNY Purchase College.
Riccardo Hernandez, assistant professor of theatre design/technology at SUNY Purchase College. Photo Credit: Submitted

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Two SUNY Purchase College professors are among the Drama Desk nominees.

Anita Yavich, associate professor of theatre design/technology, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for her work on "The Legend of Georgia McBride," while Riccardo Hernandez, assistant professor of theatre design/technology, received a nomination for set design for the play, "Red Speedo."

"The Legend of Georgia McBride" follows Casey, an Elvis impersonator, as he transitions his act into a winning drag queen in the Florida Panhandle. According to the New York Times review, “Anita Yavich’s costumes are alternately well observed and, when Casey’s star has risen, splendidly gaudy.” On May 1, she won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Costume Design.

"Red Speedo," on the other hand, involves an Olympic swimmer embroiled in a drug scandal as he prepares for his Olympic trials. Hernandez’s impressive design, described as “audacious” by the Associated Press, was a 40-foot-long heated pool lit from below.

And the SUNY Purchase College accolades don't stop there. Ravi Rajan, dean of the School of the Arts is on the Tony Nominating committee, which, this year crowned "Hamilton" with the most nominations ever -- 16 in all.

Said Rajan of the list, which was announced Tuesday, May 3, "Artists conceive new models of how the world should work – to imagine what could be from what has been. This year is likely one of, if not the most racially diverse years for nominees in the history of these awards, especially the Tonys – here’s hoping that this level of diversity becomes the new norm for all of us.”

Click here to see the compete list of Tony nominations.

The Tony Award winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The show will be broadcast on CBS-TV with host, James Corden.

For more on the Tony Awards, click here to visit the official website .

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