NEW YORK: Ali Stroker has made as the first actor in a wheelchair to capture a Tony Award. She earned the trophy for her portrayal of Ado Annie in Daniel Fish’s dark revisionist revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Oklahoma!”
“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,” Stroker, who won for best featured actress in a musical, said on stage.
She said, “I’ve been singing since I was 7 years old and for me singing is where I have no limitations. It is where I feel most powerful, and my voice and the ability to create music has, I think, really brought me out of all of the hardship that I’ve been through, and it’s brought me here today into my most powerful self.”
She noted one in five Americans lives with a disability.
The 31-year-old Stroker, who was the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway back in 2015 in “Spring Awakening,” was paralyzed from the chest down due to a car crash when she was 2. (Agencies)