Knoxville, TN - Knoxville native and University of Tennessee alumnus, John Cullum, will be awarded the CBT Artistic Excellence Award at the Clarence Brown Theatre’s annual Gala to be held June 7, 2015 from 6:30 - 10:00 pm at RT Lodge, 1406 Wilkinson Pike in Maryville, TN. 

A celebrated actor of stage and screen, Cullum is a 2007 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee, first appearing on Broadway in Camelot. He earned his first Best Actor in a Musical Tony Award nomination for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Cullum has won the coveted Tony Award twice, for Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century, and earned two more nominations for Urinetown and 110 in the Shade. In 2014, he performed in the Broadway hit Casa Valentina.
Married to acclaimed dancer and writer Emily Frankel, he has directed and acted in several of her plays on and off-Broadway. His many regional theatre appearances include The Dresser at the Clarence Brown Theatre in 2004, co-starring his son, JD Cullum, and fellow Knoxville native Carol Mayo Jenkins (2013 CBT Gala Honoree).

Among his extensive television work, he earned an Emmy nomination for his starring role in Northern Exposure, had recurring roles on ER, Law & Order: SVU, Mad Men, and The Middle, and has appeared on such TV movies as All the Way Home and Hawaii.

Held on Sunday, June 7, 2015, the CBT Gala benefits the Clarence Brown Theatre Artists Endowment, which helps bring professional guest artists from across the United States to the stages of the CBT. CBT guest artists engage and teach undergraduate and graduate students, all while creating the world-class, professional theatre experiences Greater Knoxville audiences have come to expect.
Gala attendees can expect a whimsical evening which begins as they make their way down the winding, wooded path to the RT Lodge. With a beautiful setting sun luring in the night sky, attendees will enjoy cocktails, followed by a lavish full-course meal with honoree John Cullum and passionate theater-goers of the Greater Knoxville area.  The evening also will include an auction for elaborate and exciting packages. Should attendees choose to spend the night, luxurious rooms will be available at additional cost on a first come, first served basis.

Corporate and individual sponsorship packages are available now. Gala sponsors will be able to reserve rooms at RT Lodge at additional cost before the general public. 

Current sponsors for the 2015 Gala include: Doug and Melissa White, Robin and Joe Ben Turner, The Lederer Family, Bob and Becky Paylor, Lamarr and Susie Stout, Alice Torbett, Peggy and Ron Turner, Rosemary Gilliam, Amy Morris Hess, UT Federal Credit Union, Covenant Health, Knoxville News Sentinel, Willis of Tennessee, Inc., Melanie and Tom Wood, Whitney Ray-Dawson and Channing Dawson, Neil and Maureen Dunn McBride, Lyle and Trish Irish, and Bob and Margie Parrott.
Tickets will go on sale April 20.  For more information, please contact Amanda Middleton at  or (865) 974-5654. Visit us online at
Members of the 2015 Gala committee include: Whitney Ray-Dawson, (Chair), Lyle Irish, The Lederer Family, Brenda Madigan, Lamarr Stout, Alice Torbett, Mimi Turner, Robin Turner, Georgiana Vines, Lacy Wallace, Melanie Wood, and Wendy Wortham. 

With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, like that of a teaching hospital, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 12 academic LORT (League of Resident Theatre) institutions in the nation.  Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Calvin MacLean and Managing Director David B. Byrd, the CBT season runs from August through May and features eight productions ranging from musicals to drama.  Productions remaining in the 2014-2015 Season include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Shayna Maidel and The Threepenny Opera.

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