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Two ISU alumnae nominated for Tony Awards

Photo of Rondi Reed by Joan Marcus

Rondi Reed nominated for “August: Osage County”

Illinois State University alumna Rondi Reed ’77 has been nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Mattie Fae in the hit Broadway play, “August: Osage County.”

The play debuted at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in June 2007 and opened on Broadway in December.  The play is about the Weston clan, who return to their home in Oklahoma after the disappearance of the family patriarch, and deals with drug and medication abuse, suicide and incest.

The role of Mattie Fae was written specifically for Reed by playwright Tracy Letts.  Reed turned down the role four times as she was working in “Wicked” as Madame Morrible and had no intention of dropping out.

Reed received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Fine Arts in theatre.  While at the University, she met fellow actors who went on to form the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.  Along with numerous theatre roles, Reed has also acted in many television episodes and television movies.

Photo of Laurie Metcalf by Scott Landis

Laurie Metcalf nominated for “November”

Two blocks north of where Reed is working, 1976 Illinois State University alumna and founder member of Steppenwolf Laurie Metcalf is performing in the comedy “November,” for which she also was nominated for a Tony Award in the same category.  She appears opposite Nathan Lane.

Best known for her Emmy Award-winning role as Roseanne Barr’s sister in television’s “Roseanne,” Metcalf last appeared on Broadway 13 years ago in the Steppenwolf production of “My Thing of Love.” In 1984 she attracted national acclaim for her dramatic, 30-minute monologue in Steppenwolf’s off-Broadway production of “Balm in Gilead.”  She won a Theatre World Award and an Obie Award for that role.

A Carbondale native who grew up in Edwardsville, Metcalf has been a guest in a wide range of television dramas and comedies, most recently as an Emmy nominee as a guest actress in “Desperate Housewives.”  In past years she received Emmy nominations for guest roles on “3rd Rock from the Sun” and “Monk.”

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