Joe Iconis, former musical theater director at Hofstra Summer Camps, will be among the star-studded attendees at the 73rd annual Tony Awards. Iconis is nominated for best original score in Broadway’s latest sensation, Be More Chill.
“Being recognized by the Tony Awards for a show I care so deeply about is a really nice pat on the back,” said Iconis. “I’m thrilled to represent our Be More Chill family with my nomination.”
The musical theater writer and performer has previously been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and a Lucille Lortel Award. He is also the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, Jonathan Larson Award, and a Richard Rodgers Award. But before launching to the big time, Iconis was heavily involved with Hofstra Summer Camps. He helped campers in grades 2-12 learn the fundamentals of musical theater, introducing them to proper breathing techniques, phrasing, and how to use a microphone; all while putting on solo and group musical numbers.
“Attending, working at, and eventually running the musical theater program was a life-changing experience for me,” said Iconis, who was a member of Hofstra Summer Camps from 1999 to 2006. “The program was my first time being in charge of massive group rehearsals and writing full-length scripts. Hofstra prepared me for a life in the theater in a very real way.”
At the end of the summer, middle and high school-level campers have the opportunity to put on a full musical theater show featuring an eclectic lineup of classic and current Broadway theater songs. This was also done under the direction of Iconis during his tenure with the camp.
“The theater is a place for people who don’t fit in, but it’s also a place for people who do fit in,” he said. “The community that forms so naturally in theater is unlike anything else. There’s room for everyone.”
Session One of Hofstra’s Musical Theater Camp runs July 1-12. Session Two is from July 15-26, and the intensive program runs in Session Four from August 12-16.
Be More Chill is about a love triangle between a girl, a boy, and the voice inside the boy’s head – a supercomputer that tells him what to do in an effort to make him cool. The show premiered on Broadway on March 10, 2019, and has since received high praise from The Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, AM New York, and more.