On Monday, May 9, the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing announced the nominees for the 75th Tony Awards. Among the honorees was CalArts School of Theater faculty and Center for New Performance (CNP) artist Ron Cephas Jones.
Jones was nominated for the Best Featured Actor in a Play for Clyde’s, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The play follows the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff of a sandwich shop run by the titular character (Uzo Aduba). Jones plays the kind-hearted Montrellous, a contemplative cook who holds the kitchen together.
From a December New York Times profile of Jones:
Many of Jones’s characters, including Montrellous, the ex-convict he portrays in “Clyde’s,” are pacific, hard-luck men in pursuit of redemption. The playwright Lynn Nottage, who met Jones in the 2000s when both were members of the Labyrinth Theater Company, said she wrote Montrellous with Jones in mind.
“He moves through the world like a cool jazz man, but is also generous and a nurturer,” Nottage said. “The same qualities that he brings to his acting are the qualities that he embodies in real life.”
The prolific actor is best known for his Emmy Award-winning role of William Hill on NBC’s This is Us. A frequent collaborator with LAByrinth Theater Company, Jones has amassed extensive theatrical credits both on- and off-Broadway and around the country. He starred in the CalArts Center for New Performance production of Prometheus Bound, which received its world premiere at the Getty Villa in 2013.
The Tony Awards ceremony takes place on June 12, airing on both CBS and Paramount+.