In the Loop
Faculty News : May 20, 2016

SOTD Professor Tony Mata nominated to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre

By Briana Lirio

Tony Mata, a multi-award winning director, is currently a professor at the University of Florida’s School of Theatre and Dance. He has received the honor of being nominated to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. This non-profit organization, of 132 members, bestows this national honor upon the most accomplished educators and professionals within America’s educational and theatre community.

Mata has directed, choreographed and performed in more than 300 plays, musicals, operas, and cabarets in New York, Off-Broadway and in regional theatre. He has been heavily recognized by the Hispanic community, having received seven Latin ACE Awards, including one for Best Director and another for Best Production. He is the recipient of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation and Directing Fellowship in New York, and was awarded Teacher/Scholar of the Year at UF in 2014.

Internationally, Mata has plenty of experiences working in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Grand Cayman and the Dominican Republic. He directed both the musical Baby at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, and a new production of The Magic Flute with the Opera Festival di Roma. He has taught, and been a guest artist at such prestigious universities such as Columbia University, the University of Windsor in Canada and Cambridge University in the UK. He also served as Producing Artistic Director of Central Ohio’s leading and oldest professional summer theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, for three seasons.

Despite being extremely involved with onstage productions, Mata has also made time to get involved with other aspects of the artistic community. He is the executive producer and director of the documentary “Theatre of Rice and Beans” which had a screening in New York City at Tribeca Cinemas, and he was later invited by the Librarian of Congress to screen at the Library of Congress’s Mary Pickford Theatre in 2015. He was the host of Gallery, a television show devoted to the Arts in North Florida produced by WUFT/PBS, and he was the Founding Artistic Director of Florida’s First Coast Arts Festival in St. Augustine, Florida.

The investiture ceremony, by the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, is set to occur April 2017 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Mata will be given a medal and interviewed for the archives at the center.

“I am excited, honored and thrilled to be a part of a distinguished group of artists and educators of the American theatre,” Mata said. “I would like to thank the College of Fellows for the nomination, and belief in my work and research.”