Oklahoma! star Ali Stroker made history at Sunday’s Tony Awards, and brought the audience to tears with her powerful acceptance speech.
The actress, who plays Ado Annie in the acclaimed revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, won the award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, and became the first actor who uses a wheelchair to be nominated for and to win a Tony. Stroker triumphantly lifted the award over her head as she gave her emotional remarks to the crowd, bringing many to tears.
“This awards 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,” she told the crowd. “You are.”
The actress, who has previously made guest appearances on Glee and originated the role of Anna in Deaf West’s 2015 revival of Spring Awakening,went on to thank her Oklahoma! castmates, representatives, family and friends. “My best friends, who have held my hands and pulled me around New York City for years, helping me… Thank you for teaching me to use my gifts to help people. I love you. We did it!”
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