A Good Week for Theatre Kids: Tony Nominations and Diversity

Yesterday was Tony Award Nomination Day, one of the most important days of the year for theatre geeks like me. And it's a good week for theatre kids with Hamilton breaking the record for number of nominations and an incredible diversity of nominees.

Hamilton broke the record with an incredible 16 nominations, including Best New Musical, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Direction. Amazingly, they got three of the five nominations for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical with Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, and Chris Jackson all nominated. (Yes, I cried when they read Daveed's name.) I was so excited that Renee Elise-Goldsberry snagged a Best Featured Actress nomination too.

The all-black musical Shuffle Along followed with ten nominations and She Loves Me scored eight. The Color Purple, School of Rock, and Waitress all were nominated in four categories.

For me, the most exciting thing about this round of nominations (other than Phillipa Soo being nominated for Best Actress at the age of just twenty-five) is that it seems like the opposite of #OscarsSoWhite. We could practically claim #TonysSoDiverse with the array of black, Latino, and Asian actors, actresses, writers, and technicians nominated. I was especially excited to see Sara Bareilles nominated for Best Score (for Waitress) and female nominees for lighting design, categories that are typically dominated by men.

It's been a great year on Broadway with shows like Hamilton, The Color Purple, Allegiance, Eclipsed, and Shuffle Along creating opportunities for people of color. Hopefully, this wasn't just a lucky coincidence -- a year of great diversity in theater while Hollywood fell short. Hopefully, this is the beginning of more equal opportunities on Broadway for people of all races. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue through next season and all the ones after it. We've made progress, but the fight isn't done.
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