Ali Stroker Writes History As The First Actor In A Wheelchair To Take Home A Tony Award
Ali Stroker defied all odds at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards on Sunday Night. Stroker won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, however, she is the first wheelchair user to win or even be nominated for a Tony ever.
"This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena – you are." Watch Ali Stroker accept her Tony: https://t.co/zcDBiL1FyS #TonyAwards pic.twitter.com/puTqrQgm1f— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 10, 2019
Ali Stroker gracefully accepted her Tony award for her performance of Ado Annie in the praised Broadway revival of Oklahoma, which also won for Best Revival of a Musical. In addition to Stroker's groundbreaking win, she performed the song “I Can't Say No” from the production.
Wow. Ali Stroker’s speech is so damn inspiring. #TonyAwards2019 @OklahomaBway pic.twitter.com/GuEeRbfkvh— Brent Lang (@BrentALang) June 10, 2019
As Stroker accepted her win on stage, she addressed any children watching saying, "This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation, who has a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena. You are." Applause could be heard erupting from the crowd as Stroker lifted her award in the air.
With this win for 'Oklahoma!,' Ali Stroker has become the first wheelchair-using Tony winning actor https://t.co/NQHZgHxrmg #TonyAwards pic.twitter.com/uCMQEdqM7Z— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) June 10, 2019
According to Huff Post, Stroker was injured in a car accident when she was only two years old. In 2015, she made her Broadway debut in Deaf West’s revival of the musical “Spring Awakening” marking the first time a wheelchair user has taken to the Broadway stage.
Ali Stroker, the first wheelchair-using Tony winner, says theater owners and producers need to look into how they can make backstages more accessible for performers with disabilities #TonyAwards https://t.co/tksqOt85uq pic.twitter.com/1uIQVX9YvA— Variety (@Variety) June 10, 2019
In addition to representing disability groups, Stroker also spoke about having more accessible backstages for performers with disabilities. "The theatres for the house where all the audience comes in, that is all made accessible to patrons, but the backstages are not. So I would ask that theatre owners and producers really look into how they can begin to make the backstage accessible so that performers with disabilities can get around," Stroker said in a press conference after the awards show.
Sydney was watching, @ALISTROKER !! “She’s talking to ME, Mommy!” Yes, baby. She is. #TonyAwards2019 pic.twitter.com/4Dxg3Emc1c— Jillian Smith 🛫 (@DoubleDutchMom) June 10, 2019
One Twitter user posted this sweet picture of her daughter watching Ali Stroker's acceptance speech. It shows that Stroker is a true inspiration! She gives disabled children hope that nothing can hold them back, not even their disability!
What do you think about this story? Did it ever cross your mind that there are almost no famous actors with disabilities? Let us know what you think about that and pass this article along to your friends and family so they can see Ali Stroker take home this historic win!