Refresh for updates Acknowledgements, thank yous, laments for shuttered theaters, pleas for racial justice and get-out-the-vote plugs (for one presidential candidate, anyway) are being offered by this year’s crop of Tony Award nominees.
“The closing of Broadway theatres (indeed almost all American theatres) this year has left us without a vital resource to gather together and examine ourselves and our nation and has reminded us just how important live theatre is to our personal and civil lives,” said playwright Matthew López, whose The Inheritance was nominated in 11 categories. “In its absence, I urge everyone in these next three weeks to channel their energies into electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
See López’s complete statement below, along with those of other nominees. Deadline will refresh this page as additional reactions arrive.
Matthew López, playwright, The Inheritance:
I’m grateful to the American Theatre Wing for recognizing The Inheritance with 11 nominations today, including Best Play. The closing of Broadway theatres (indeed almost all American theatres) this year has left us without a vital resource to gather together and examine ourselves and our nation and has reminded us just how important live theatre is to our personal and civil lives. In its absence, I urge everyone in these next three weeks to channel their energies into electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. And once theatres do re-open, I urge commercial producers and non-profit companies to listen to the voices of those who have been crying out this year for racial and economic justice in our country, in our cities, and in our arts organizations. One of the themes of The Inheritance is our responsibility to listen to each other’s stories and lift up our fellow citizens, rather than tearing them down. Theatre, at its best, helps call us to those better instincts of our nature. I look forward to the day we can all return safely, joyfully to those sacred spaces and to tell each other stories of our lives and of our nation.
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill, Leading Actress/Musical
When I began the lab of Jagged Little Pill three years ago – almost to the day – I couldn’t have even dreamt that it would lead to this morning. Cue me today…finally getting cell service at the end of an off the grid hike squealing into the Colorado wilderness with joy for the acknowledgment that our show has received (the wildlife was terrified). Thank you, thank you, American Theatre Wing, I am honored.
Bringing the role of Mary Jane to life has absolutely been the highlight of my career. The entire experience has taken me to the depths of my soul and taught me so much. I am continually in awe of our generous creative team, and I have been humbled each night by my incredible cast mates—every one of whom poured their beautiful hearts in to creating each track with vulnerability and integrity. I am humbled to be telling the messy story of a fierce mother, a fighter, a survivor, and an addict. I’m thrilled that our show has been recognized, and I feel very proud to be a part of a production that is doing what I think art does best: helping us see ourselves and encouraging us to heal—which feels more necessary than ever. Immense gratitude to the many, many people who have shared your personal stories with me as I studied to play this role with respectful accuracy and tenderness.
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill, Featured Actress/Musical
I am incredibly grateful for this Tony nomination, which is made so much more special for me because I share it with my entire Jagged Little Pill family. I am deeply proud of our show and everything that it stands for. I can’t wait until we are all able to return safely to our theatres to share the brilliant work of the shows that opened, and the shows that were not able to open because of the coronavirus pandemic. As a country and as an artistic community, we are going through deeply difficult times, and I hope that this moment of reflection and celebration can fuel and inspire us to return to Broadway stronger, and with true equity and justice for our entire community.
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!, Choreography:
Moulin Rouge! The Musical is made up of one of the hardest working teams I’ve ever been a part of, both on stage and off. It is a show where the craft of dance is celebrated and honored. Our beloved ensemble fires off an electricity that echoes, and I’m so grateful to them. As an Arab-American queer choreographer, it has been an honor to work on a show that celebrates otherness and a freedom for all humanity. Even though unpredictability abounds for the arts in this uncertain time, I am proud to celebrate this year with my fellow nominees. This moment serves as a giant reminder that we’re still here and of just how vital the arts are – as the heartbeat of New York City, and beyond.
Bess Wohl, playwright, Grand Horizons, Best Play
I am incredibly honored that my work and that of our entire company and crew was recognized, and am deeply grateful to Williamstown Theatre Festival and to Second Stage for producing Grand Horizons. At the same time, my heart is with the countless arts workers who are currently unemployed or have been otherwise devastated by the pandemic. Wear a mask. Vote. And I look forward to when we can all gather together again on Broadway.
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill, Orchestrations
This is a huge honor. I share this with my entire Jagged Little Pill family, especially the brilliant Alanis Morissette, and all of the wonderful collaborators who inspired my work. I also want to acknowledge all of the shows that were not able to open, so today I’m thinking of all of the great artists who were supposed to be a part of the ’19-’20 season, and I can’t wait to see all of their beautiful work when Broadway returns.
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