SF State News {University Communications}

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Alum Daniel Sullivan earns Tony Award nomination

May 10 , 2011 -- Alumnus Daniel Sullivan is a go-to theatre director for new plays, but it is a Shakespeare classic that has garnered his latest Tony Award nomination.

A photo of Daniel Sullivan

Sullivan (B.A., ’62) is nominated this year for Best Direction of a Play for “The Merchant of Venice,” the late 16th-century comedy. Starring Al Pacino, this latest production debuted last summer as part of the Shakespeare in the Park series in New York City. It continued on Broadway from October through February. “The Merchant of Venice” has seven nominations total, including Best Revival of a Play.

This marks Sullivan’s seventh Tony nomination. He won a Tony in 2001 for directing the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Proof.” As artistic director of Seattle Repertory Theatre, Sullivan premiered plays by the likes of Herb Gardner, Wendy Wasserstein, Jon Robin Baitz, Neil Simon and Arthur Miller. Sullivan also serves as the Swanlund professor of theatre at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

While attending SF State, Sullivan gained invaluable experience with The Actor’s Workshop, a legendary troupe led by Professors Jules Irving and Herbert Blau.

“San Francisco State was the turning point in my life,” Sullivan said. “That’s where I got the theatre bug, and it never left me.”

Other past Tony Award nominees among SF State alumni include Lifetime Achievement winner Paul Gemignani (B.A., ’68), actor B.D. Wong (attended '78-'80), singer and comedienne Sharon McNight (B.A. '68, M.A. '70), actor Reginald Rogers and National Theatre for the Deaf co-founder Bernard Bragg (M.A., ’59).

The Tony Awards, which honor theatrical excellence in Broadway productions, will be presented in New York on June 12 and air live on CBS.

-- Matt Itelson


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