Professor Mata is the head of Musical Theatre at The University of Florida, and serves as an affiliate faculty member for the Center for Latin American Studies.
He is a multi-award winning director and holds an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. Mr. Mata has directed, choreographed, and performed in over 300 plays, musicals, operas and cabarets in New York, Off-Broadway, and in regional theatre. His regional credits include The Kennedy Center, the Old Globe Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Stages Repertory, San Diego Opera, The Houston and San Diego Gilbert and Sullivan Companies, and The Lambs Players. In New York, he has worked with the renowned Circle Repertory Theatre, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, The Lincoln Center Summer Festival, New Dramatists, Riverside Shakespeare, INTAR and the Obie Award winning Repertorio Español. He is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers and the American Guild of Musical Artists. Internationally Mr. Mata has worked in the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Grand Cayman and The Dominican Republic. He directed the musical Baby at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland and also directed 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 has worked with such notable names as Julie Harris, Brian Bedford, Ken Page, Christine Ebersole, Director Jack O’Brien, Dudley Moore, Colleen Dewhurst, Zoe Caldwell, Chita Rivera, and the legendary Stephen Sondheim while in graduate school at SDSU and working at the Old Globe Theatre in California.
Mr. Mata has been the recipient of numerous awards for his productions in New York. Some of his awards include seven prestigious Latin ACE Awards, including Best Director and Best Production. His Off-Broadway production of Dinner for Two won four HOLA Awards (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) including Best Production. He was also the recipient of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Directing Fellowship in New York. His critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Garcia Lorca’s The Evil Spell of the Butterfly was nominated for five Latin ACE Awards and won two, including Best Production. The New YorkTimes hailed “It may strike you as funny and delightful how this tale becomes in the hands of the director Tony Mata and a first rate cast. He brings out a good deal of whimsical humor… this is tragedy to die for.” Time Out New York said “Director Tony Mata has staged a visually crisp production that transcends word play…it’s a gorgeous play.”The Village Voice hailed “Director Tony Mata weaves a magical spell with music and imagery that is stunning.” Mr. Mata has received six Meritorious Achievement Awards for Excellence in Directing from The Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival for his productions of City of Angels (2010), Chicago (2011), Guys and Dolls (2013), Sweeney Todd (2014), The Drowsy Chaperone (2015) & Spring Awakening (2016). In 2014 he was awarded Teacher/Scholar of the year in the College of the Arts at the University of Florida, and in 2017 Professor Mata was awarded the Univeristy of Florida Presidential Medallion, Provost Preeminence Award.
In 2017 Professor Mata was inducted as a Fellow into The College of Fellows of the American Theatre. The investiture ceremony was held at the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in April 2017. Investiture in the College is one of the highest honors bestowed on educators and professionals of America's educational and theatre community.
He is also the Executive Producer and Director of a documentary, Theatre of Rice and Beans which is a retrospective look at New York Latino Theatre and features Miriam Colon, Rene Buch and Max Ferra. The film received it's first screening in New York, at Tribeca Cinemas in spring 2014 and most recently received a special invitation by the Librarian of Congress, James Billington to screen at the Library of Congress, Mary Pickford Theatre. theatreofriceandbeans.com
For three seasons, Mr. Mata served as Producing Artistic Director of Central Ohio’s leading and oldest professional summer theatre, Weathervane Playhouse. He was the Founding Artistic Director of Florida’s First Coast Arts Festival in St. Augustine Florida and was the host of Gallery, a television show devoted to the Arts in North Florida produced by WUFT/PBS. His greatest pride and joy is the work of his students who are working on Broadway, National Tours, Regional Theatre, Film and and Television.