Recap the 2024 Tony Awards Acceptance Speeches

Read all of the Tony Awards acceptance speeches in full!

By: Jun. 16, 2024
Recap the 2024 Tony Awards Acceptance Speeches
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The 77th Annual Tony Awards have wrapped! As winners took the stage last night, BroadwayWorld brought you full text of all of the acceptance speeches; from the emotional to the humorous, and everything in between.

BroadwayWorld brought you live coverage of who wonthe performanceslive photosinterviews with the winners, and more! If you're not already following us on XFacebookInstagram, and TikTok, do it now for even more exclusive content.


Shaina Taub, Suffs

Best Book of a Musical

Thank you so much to the American Theatre Wing. I grew up in Vermont watching the Tony’s every year with my mom on TV and dreaming of being a part of this magical community. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. Mom, I’m only here because of your unwavering love and support, thank you for teaching me the power of creativity. Thank you to my husband Matt, the love of my life for always making me laugh. Thank you to Rachel Sussman for knowing that this story needed to be told, and for changing my life by choosing me to tell it. Thank you to Jill Furman for never giving up, thank you to the creative team of my dreams, and to our phenomenal cast, crew, orchestra and team at the Music Box doing Suffs with passion and brilliance. Thank you to the Public Theater. If you are inspired by the story of the suffs, please make sure you and everyone you know are registered to vote. And vote, vote, vote this fall. 

Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Orchestrations 

I am especially proud to be receiving my first Tony Award for a Sondheim musical. So thank you Maria and thank you Steve, my old friend and teacher.

Dede Ayite, Jaja's African Hair Braiding

Best Costume Design of a Play 

Okay, woo! Thank you so much for this acknowledgment. I want to thank my family, my brother who’s cheering me from Ghana right now. Ghana in the house! Thank you to my collaborators. Thank you to my associates because they make things happen Without them I would not be here to have this show on stage. Thank you to Jocelyn who wrote such a beautiful piece. I mean, so phenomenal. Thank you to all of the costume shops and makers who truly move the needle in terms of getting the glitz and the glam onstage. Without them, I would not be here. The show would not look as amazing as it does. I am so grateful. Thank you.

Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby

Best Costume Design of a Musical

I just wanted to tell you about my mom. When I was a teenager, she said “You’re a woman, you’re a minority, you will never succeed in anything artistic,” and it was out of love. It was out of protection. I think she’d be pretty amazed to know that tonight I share this nomination with 16 others who are similar to me. I believe beauty is in the journey, not just in the destination and I love what i do and the people I do it with. So this award is an embarrassment of riches, thank you. I do one part of what you see at Gatsby every night, it takes trusting collaborative partners, our director, producers, writer, an entire village of people who craft and care for the 275 costumes you see on stage every night. I’d like to acknowledge my team. And last but certainly not least, my plus one tonight, my son, Finn, and glued to their screens at home, his brother Foster, and my husband, Bryan. I am who I am because of you. 

David Zinn, Stereophonic

Best Scenic Design of a Play 

I don’t know what turns a room into a poem, but every show I’ve been involved with this year has in some ways wrestled with that essential mystery. How does presence manifest in an empty room? How does the silence of a room hold the noise of the world? It’s grief, it’s desire, it’s joy, it’s music. What story, whose stories, whose voices stay in a room once they are gone? And by what alchemy are those voices amplified and brought back to life? The pursuit of these questions is something i am very proud and very honored to spend my life doing, and I’m doing it in incredible company. I love everything about Stereophonic. Thank you Daniel for asking me along on this journey with you 7 years ago. To our producers, especially Playwrights Horizons and John and Sue for leading with generosity in this process. Always asking us what we needed, never telling us what we couldn’t have. Personally, myself and my husband, have needed the generosity and strength of all of our colleagues this year more than ever  support and I have been truly overwhelmed by your humanity. I love what the people in this room do and I’m humbled to be in your company. 

Justin Peck, Illinoise

Best Choreography 

Oh my god! Illinoise is a musical told almost entirely in the language of dance, and nobody in the world speaks that language more eloquently than this cast. These artists inspire me to enter uncharted territory and I could not have done it without them. Thank you to Sufjan Stevens for giving us this bedrock of an album to build this show on. Jackie Sibblies-Drury, thank you for being the kind of brilliant playwright who is crazy enough to say yes to writing a musical that has no dialogue in it, you’ve been the most imaginative incredible partner along the way. To Patricia Delgado, the light and the soul of this entire production, you genuinely make us all feel Illinoise. This musical started as a quiet whisper and there have been literally hundreds who have fanned the flames of this campfire. Di, Adriana, Nathan, the whole Illinoise band, Tim, Brandon, Garth, Adam, Rick, and the late Tom Gates, and our beautiful stage management team. Oren and the whole group of producers who lead with art first. There are so many more I wish I could thank, but let me end by saying that I love theater with all my heart and Ill be forever thankful to this community for embracing a musical that harnesses the profound power of dance on Broadway. 

George C. Wolfe

Lifetime Achievement

I’m glad I’m holding this Tony so my arms don’t flap all over the place like they did in that just now. When I was 15 I came to New York with my mother and we saw a bunch of musicals and plays, including a revival of West Side Story on this very stage. I knew then I was going to move to New York. I’m from Frankfort, Kentucky. I was going to move to New York. I knew that I was going to work in the theatre. I dreamed, hoped, believed that I would one day win a Tony, but I never imagined this moment and you, standing and honoring, and the career that I’ve had. So thank you, thank you very much. Thank you to my parents who not only told me I was magical, my whole family, that I was magical and special, but they also told me that I had a responsibility to honor the culture that I come from and to join other cultures and connect with them, so I could learn early on that it didn’t need to look like you to be about you. We are going through an incredibly complicated time in this country. But all of us here in this room and people who are watching…they’re watching in the second part, hopefully they’ll see this in the first part, that at one point the theatre gave all of us a piece of ourselves that we didn’t know that we had. And as we go through this incredibly complicated time, it’s very important that we approach it not with fear, not with trepidation, but knowing that we work with the dynamic of celebrating and exploring the powerful, fragile dynamic that is the human heart. So we need to do so more so, with power and command and authority and defiance, and take on the world. And those people that come to see us, see the work that we do, whether onstage or backstage, will hopefully feel empowered from experiencing the work we do. Thank you very much. I’m very honored. Thank you.

Jane Cox, Appropriate

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Thank you. I want to dedicate this award to all the partners and children, patient partners and children of theatremakers everywhere, especially my brilliant husband Evan Alexander and my beautiful daughter Beckett Alexander here tonight. I also want to thank all the associates on all the shows, especially Bailey Costa, Betsy Chester, and my co-pilot of 15 years, Tess James. Thank you to the amazing lighting team on our show, Mia, Kelly, Brian. And shout out to my family in Ireland, especially my niece who’s going to acting school this fall. Thank you so much Lila Branden, Second Stage, dots, the whole team, the performers. Gosh.. how lucky to be on this show, and what a gift. Thank you so much.

Brian MacDevitt and Hana S. Kim, The Outsiders

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Brian: A million thanks to Nick, David, Katie, Dan, Matt, and the gang at the theatre who put this all together for us. I’m standing here tonight because of them. I know it sounds cliche, but these people literally carried me from the entrance of the door to the finish line. When I first read the story and and heard the music for this piece, I was literally salivating. How often do we as lighting designers get to express such pain, beauty, violence, and tenderness through light. And how often do we have a director who gets what we do and pushes us to great work? And how often do we get a set design team that designs not the most scenery, but the perfect container to hold that story? And how often do we get choreography that invites us to literally smash performers in the face with light? How often? If we’re lucky, maybe once in a career.

Hana: I thought I overdressed tonight, I just wanted to dress up, but this is crazy, and I did not expect to have this much flesh out in the world. I started writing this down after Linda’s speech like, “Oh, maybe it’s a possibility,” but this is crazy. Our fearless leader Danya, team Outsiders, all the producers, Adam, Jeff, Justin, Zach, Jonathan, this is the beyond dream team. My team, and my greatest support, hubby Andy, my family. I came here 15 years ago not knowing what to expect. This community is blowing my mind. Such a generosity and patience this community had for me. Thank you. 

Cody Spencer, The Outsiders

Best Sound Design of a Musical

I usually don’t like to stand here. I like to be back there where you guys can’t see me. I have a speech, I’m going to do horrible at it, but I’m truly honored to be standing here. Thank you to the theatre wing. I am immensely grateful to Justin Levine and Danya Taymor, our amazing director, without them I would not be here. Their trust in me, along with everyone else on this show it just blows my mind that they knew that I could do it even in times when I didn’t believe that I could do it. A huge thank you to our cast, musicians, producers, creative team, everyone at the Jacobs Theatre. Your collaboration and creativity is inspiring. My sound team, Joe, Heather, Mike, Steven, Thomas and Taylor, for your support and for my making my crazy ideas a reality.

Jack O'Brien

Lifetime Achievement 

I have two contradictory thoughts going on in my head all the time these days. One of them, of course, is this is the most moving experience of my career, and i’m having a little trouble absorbing it. And the other one is, oh my god does this mean it’s over?! Are George and I getting the hook tonight? This is clipping right along isn’t it? I saw myself tonight on a couch, maybe having a martini and we could spend some time together. All I want to say is after what seems to be an interminable career, you pick up a couple of things, and there are things I wanted to remind you of. I don’t want you to be upset about this, what I’m about to tell you. But did it occur to you no one ever asked us to do this? We didn’t answer an ad in the New York Times that said ‘glittering theatrical types needed to save a moribund industry’ as a matter of fact I can tell right now that most of the people in this house were discouraged from being here tonight by their parents, their teachers, their lovers, their financial advisors, “Don’t do it.” But we couldn’t help it could we? There is a fragile web of belief we chase each night in these houses. It’s the only real magic accorded to us, and it doesn’t come when called. So when it doesn’t work you’ve got to do it the next night and try to be better. But when it works, it can change lives. It changed mine. And here you are.

It’s not a job, I don’t know what it is. I know that there are people who would like to make it a job, and I think that they should be encouraged to go someplace else and maybe get one. But for us it’s a privilege, its an honor, and I know this is weird, but it’s a calling. And as such, who do I thank for a lifetime like this? Many of the people, Ellis Rabb, John Houseman, Bill Ball, helped me, were gracious to me have gone. So, it’s you, my peers. My fellow artists. It’s your society that really makes it work. I am deeply honored. It’s what I want for you, a life in the theatre. Who knew? God bless you. 

Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic

Best Sound Design of a Play 

Hey everyone. I have a couple things I wanna say. First of all, I am much more comfortable with my work being heard than me being seen. So literally I just want to try something. I want everyone to close their eyes right now. I’m serious. But… I’m up here because of the people who believed in me and I want y’all to think of the people that have believed in you. Playwrights and Wagner Johnson believed in our production and they went big when no one else did. A huge thank you to my sound team at the Golden. Phil Lojo. Craig Cassidy. John McKenna, Alex Brock, and Nora Simonson, and Luca Botticelli. Thanks to Daniel Aukin who trusts me to do what I do. That’s the greatest gift an artistic collaborator can give you. Thanks to David Adjmi for your words and ideas that I’ve never experienced in a play before and for trusting me on this eight year journey. Thanks to Will Butler for one of a kind songs, the stellar cast, and Justin Craig for your musical glue. These lines from the play of Stereophonic pretty much sum up my experience. And apologies David Adjmi for reading this, you can give me some notes later, but… Grover says, “But don’t you think this was… kind of like… a nightmare? No, but I mean, really?” And Diana says, “Honestly this is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

CJay Philip, Founder and Creative Director of Dance & Bmore Theatre Programs in Baltimore, Maryland.

Excellence in Theatre Education Award

My first theatre performance was a church play. The show written by my mother later moved to albany high school where I was a student, an athlete, and certified knucklehead I cut class a lot. I was stopped by Mr. Bealy, the theatre teacher, and he invited me to read a Shakespeare monologue. He saw a light in me, and he was my first mentor and acting coach. Years later, I moved to new york to pursue Broadway, and here I gained more teachers. More mentors. And some of them here in this room influenced my journey. And I thank you. But no one has influenced me more than my mother who is here today Nell Stokes. You have taught me the value of writing my own story and walking a purposeful path. And every day I get to teach young people to do the same thing in their communities, their schools, their churches, cultural centers, and wherever stories are told. I am so blessed. I want to thank Colby, Tyra, Parvan, Lynetta, Cinya, Josh, Perry, and Lisa for your letters of encouragement. Lauren Arazzo for sharing this connective work with me. I thank my husband of 23 years Winston for your brilliant musical arrangements that give our teens the excitement of singing and rapping on the Voices of Carmen cast album. And lastly thank you to Carnegie Mellon University, the American Theatre Wing, and Broadway League for recognizing the contributions and impact of theatre educators and that they make on all of us. And the light that you’re shining on those who see the light in a young person and celebrate it. Now class, repeat after me. Let the light within you shine. Let the light within you shine. You gotta do the hands. Let the light within you shine. You shine. Yes, you do Broadway. Bravo.

Tom Scutt, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

 Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Madness. Thank you so much. Thank you to the Broadway League. Thank you American Theatre Wing. Thank you to this amazing community who has been so welcoming and so warm to us. I’m so thrilled to be part of a year where design is just killing it with collectives and groups and partnerships. I find that this is for a lot of artists. This is not just one name. This is Jonathan Lyndon Chase. This is Jeremy Anderson. This is my team David Allen, Rich Henley, Anya Allin, George Sanger, Architects KGA. Other architects Charcoalblue. I want to thank Adam Speers, our amazing, amazing producer at ATG, who was mad enough to believe that we could do this. And I want to dedicate this to three very special people. To Rebecca Frecknall, our amazing director. To Julia Cheng, our choreographer, and to Jordan Fine. Thank you very much.

Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Thank you so much. Thank you to the American Theatre Wing. I want to thank Greg Noble, Patrick, everyone at Seaview, and 101, and Plan B. I want to thank Paul Libbin for letting us use your beautiful theatre. It is such an honor doing this play at Circle in the Square. My brilliant cast, the design team and the whole production team that worked on this play. I want to thank the ushers and front of house staff. You’ve seen me walking in every day looking like I’ve just been run over by a truck, and seen me walk out looking somehow even worse, with bits of pretzels in my hair. Linda, thank you for sewing fifty thousand buttons back onto my shirts every night. Molly Kerns, I couldn’t have done this without you, I think a lot of people in this room share that sentiment. Sam and Amy, you guys, thank you. Sam, thank you for being everything an actor could hope for in a director and for bringing new meaning to the term ice bucket challenge. Amy for your masterful work on this play. The last time I did a play of yours I met Emma, my wife, who I now have three beautiful children with, and now this play. This play is a cry from the heart to face up to the difficult truths that are staring us all down right now. It’s been a privilege to give it’s warning and it’s hope to audiences. This is for my mom and my dad who are here tonight. Mom, dad, thank you for allowing me to imagine. 

Will Brill, Stereophonic

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Wow wow wow. Thanks guys. Okay, there’s six other people in this play. Can you stand up real quick? Just stand up. Look at these guys. Look at them. Wow wow wow, you guys! Okay. David Adjmi, and Daniel Aukin, and Justin Craig, and Will Butler took a real chance on casting a play with a bunch of nobodies. And then all the sudden Sue Wagner and John Johnson and Greg Noble were like, you know what we could put that on Broadway and that could be a nice thing, so… What the heck?! This is really nice. I just want to say I wouldn’t be here without my therapist Rachel Turney. And my bass teacher Rodney Seehack Mangano. And also I wouldn’t be doing this if Talene Monahan hadn’t told me to. So thanks Talene. I love you guys. So much. Wild. Thanks.

Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! Oh my goodness, wow! Thank you to the American Theatre Wing, thank you to the Broadway League, thank you to my team, Sam, Liana, Perry, thank you to every single person who has ever championed me, to make this moment a reality. Thank you to my ancestors, the women who I come from, the people who I come from. My great-grandmother Hazel Baptist made it a point to come to Purlie Victorious two weeks before she transitioned. Thank you to my mother. My mother went back to school with two children, and got two masters degrees from an Ivy League institution, and to my father who put my mother through school, and made it a priority to do that. Thank you so much, dad for taking us to school every day, mom for taking me to dance class, back to this one, then to a party, then back to the class… to my brother, Clay Young, your strength and resilience inspires me daily. To my partner, Biko Eisen-Martin, who I love so much, who is my spirit mate. To this incredible cast of Purlie. This incredible cast, Leslie, you make everything possible, you inspire me so much. You hold so much and you hold it like it’s weightless. Kenny Leon, you meticulously crafted this play, I don’t see anybody else doing this the way that you did it, you are singular and important. To Heather, Vanessa, Billy, Bill, J.O., Noah P, Noah R, Willa, Brandy, Donald, and Melvin, I think I said everyone. And to the great Ossie Davis who just posthumously elevated the American theatre yet again 62 years later. The legendary Ruby Dee who originated this role. The great Luttie Belle Gussie Mae Jenkins, who said ‘I’m taking a chance on my life and I’m gonna go’ and I’m gonna go because I have some life left. I have a lot of life left in me. And she deserved it, and we all do. Thank you. This to the vibration of the liberation for humanity. 

Billy Porter 

Isabelle Stevenson Award

Singing: I don’t feel no ways tired. Come too far from where I’ve started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy. Oh I don’t believe. He’s brought me this far to leave me.

Thank you to the committee for choosing me, seeing me. I am grateful, I am humbled I grew up in world where they told me that who I was was not worthy of anything. So the fact that I’m standing before you is a miracle. Toni Morrison said this is precisely the time when artists go to work. There’s no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal. I was born in 1969. First-generation post-60s Civil Rights Movement. I came out as gay in 1985 when I was 16 years old and as we all know, and many of us in this room experienced, we went straight to the front lines to fight for our lives. I’d like to personally thank the Entertainment Community Fund, formerly the Actors Fund of America, and founder Tom Viola with the Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS for teaching myself and an entire generation of theatre artists how to activate. We got up in these streets and we spoke truth to power and demanded our healing medications. We got up in these streets and demanded our equal rights not just for queer people, but for all human beings everywhere. Period. And as we find ourselves at yet another crossroads in America. A moment that will decide whether democracy lives or dies, I need to remind you all of what the late John Lewis told me. “Never give up hope, never give into hate and go out there and get into some good trouble. Love always wins  It takes time, it takes grace, it takes hope, it takes patience, it takes loving kindness and compassion. And we win. When we fight, we always win. I’d like to dedicate this moment to my mother Clarinda Jean Johnson Porter Ford who we lost this past February. She believed in unconditional love and she instilled in my sister and I a purpose and love greater than ourselves. One of her favorite Bible verses was 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not give us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Turn to your neighbor and tell them fear not, for the change has already happened. God bless y’all.

Danya Taymor, The Outsiders

Best Direction of a Musical 

Thank you. It is an honor of a lifetime to be among this group of directors, especially the group of women directors, a record number this year. Directing The Outsiders changed my life. Thank you to my brothers in creation and collaboration, Adam Rapp, Justin Levine, Rick and Jeff Kuperman, John Clay, Zach Chance, thank you for trusting me. Thank you to the Araca group, Matthew, all of our producers, to the relentlessly courageous and curious cast of The Outsiders, three of whom are here tonight, Sky, Josh, Brody, and everybody in the whole company it is an honor to be your director and your collaborator. To the sickest design team in the land. Thank you for creating the ultimate memory playground, raw, gritty, elemental, and powered by bodies. Thank you to my family, mom, dad, Ari, Gab, I love you. Thank you to the great women who have lifted me up. Beverly Jenkins, Nina Essman, Angelina Jolie and Susie Hinton. Susie Hinton who at 16 years old wrote from her gut with such courage and honesty. And to all the young artists out there who want to create: What some may perceive as a weakness or a liability in you might just be your superpower, don’t be afraid to trust your gut. Artistic risk yields rewards. Thank you so much. 

Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic

Best Direction of a Play

Here’s some words I wrote. A room inside a room inside a room. So I’m standing at the back of the theatre, and the silence falls. People are leaning forward in their seats, witness to this love letter to the joy and the pain of people making something together in a space that dances between what is shown and what we should not be seeing. David Adjmi’s demonically diamond writing in harmony with Will Butler’s incandescent songwriting, and a rock star cast, vibrates to its own special frequency. I can’t hold it all in words. I can feel it. Wait are they acting now, what just happened? None of this happens the way it needed to without Adam Greenfield at Playwrights Horizons. Stereophonic fam, you know who you are, thank you. Thank you to our incredible producers. Derek and Emma for ever stopping believing. Thank you American Theatre Wing. Finally, sorry Ryan, you got there first. In the play Diana says “It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” As far as my life making theatre I have more than an inkling of what she’s talking about. Ivy and [Hayes], I’ll see you at the party. 

Kecia Lewis, Hell's Kitchen

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

[Looking at her phone] Lord, my phone, open, okay. People, stop texting me, Jesus. First, I would like to thank you, God, my first, my last, my everything, Thank you to the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League and every one of the fierce, fabulous, female thespians in this category. I’d like to thank the entire cast, onstage and offstage, the crew, the front and back of house staff at the Shubert Theatre for being who they are and their hard work and support to make our show the joy that it is. I’d like to thank our creative team, Alicia Keys, Michael Greif, Kristoffer Diaz, Camille A. Brown, and all of our designers for their hard work and dedication as generals in leading the charge of our show. I’d like to thank my manager and friend of 15 years, Jed Abrahams, for truly seeing me and being my champion in an industry that is extremely challenging and often did not see me. Also, I thank Barry Bischoff for his friendship and hard work. Thank you to my ENT and friend, Dr. Linda Dahl who keeps this voce alive and well. And my vocal coach Marlon Saunders. I’d like to thank those people in my life who wouldn’t let me give up. Being in this business 40 years I wanted to give up many times. Gabriella Diaz-Goncalvees, Lisa Vidal, Daniel Koa Beaty, and my longtime friends, Adriane Lenox and LaChanze. I’d like to thank my spiritual families over the years for their training and loving me just for me without having me even open my mouth and sing a note, particularly pastors Martin and Gail Watson, Reverend Darling, Palmer, and Dr. Hart Ramsey at Hunger Church Atlanta. To my family, aunt Ruth, who indulged me but still laughs about me standing in the mirror as a kid watching myself cry to see if I looked like a wonderful actress. My parents, the late John Henry Lewis and Betty Mae Lewis, and my heart that walks outside my body, my son, Simon Evans. Lastly, 40 years ago yesterday, I walked into the Imperial Theatre to begin my Broadway career at 18 years old. I have had so many amazing experiences and some heartbreaking ones too. I took a short break from showbusiness and raised a son as a single parent while trying to build a career. This moment is the one I dreamed of for most of those 40 years. So, I say to everyone who can hear my voice ‘don’t give up!’ Thank you. 

Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical 

I’m gonna just talk fast and try not to cry. Thank you so much to the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing for this unbelievable honor Thank you to our producers Sonia, David, Patrick, and Jeff for making this happen. Thank you to Stephen Sondheim and George Furth for writing this unbelievable show and these incredible songs that are just a gift to sing every night. Thank you to Maria, our director, for knowing the show like the back of your hand and for guiding us through it so so beautifully. And also this has been one of the best experiences of my life, thank you for thinking of me for this. This has been just unbelievable. Thank you so much to our cast. Everybody on that stage. It is an honor to be on stage with you every single night. I will miss it so much. Speaking of missing things… Jonathan, Lindsay, I will miss you so much. I don’t really have to act in this show, I just have to look at you and feel everything that I want feel. I will never have it this good again. Thank you. Thank you to our crew. The band. The stage management team. Everybody who makes the show happen every day at the Hudson theatre. You make it a dream to come to work. Thank you so so much. Thank you to Sue Latimer, my agent, who’s been with me literally my entire life. That is not a joke. Sandy Binion, my dresser. He dressed me on Equus, oh no, you didn’t dress me, we met on Equus and then dressed me on everything since. None of this would have been half as much fun without you. Thank you so much. My singing teacher Mark Malin is the only reason I sound any good in the show. Thank you Mark. My mom and dad are here somewhere. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you both so much. Thanks for playing Sondheim in the car and just, you know, loving me. And my love Erin, you and our son are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you everybody. Have a great night.

Shaina Taub, Suffs

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

I’ve had the absurd good fortune to already be up here tonight and I know I talk fast and my mentor Elizabeth Swados used to say I could run auctions because I talk so fast, but I want to talk about her and mentorship. Elizabeth Swados, I walked into her class in 2007 in college and I wrote my first song and I met my husband and she changed my life. And the mentors, the songwriters in this industry, that care about the future of the craft. Jeanine Tesori stood up here and said you have to see it to be it. Yes, Jenine and I saw it so I could be it. Thank you Jeanine. Thank you Lynn Ahrens, thank you Liz Swados. And to all of the theatre kids out there watching, especially the wild little girls. Go for it. You can do it. You are powerful. You are valuable. You are strong. If you doubt yourself, it’s okay I doubt myself all the time, but you can do it. I am rooting for you. And the epigraph on my script is a quote from the Talmud, you are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. This is a hard year in our country, and I just hope that we can remember that when we organize and we come together we are capable of making real change and progress for this country for equality and justice. And so I hope we can all do that together. And thank you to the Suffs, thank you to my castmates. This is absolutely amazing. Oh my goodness. Thank you. I love theatre. I love you all. Thank you so much.


Best Revival of a Play

Carole Rothman: Thank you to the American Theatre Wing and to the Broadway League. It is a joy and an honor to be standing here with the family of Appropriate, the actors, the director, the designers, the stage manager and the producers. Family is at the crux of appropriate and those of us that have the love and support of our families, who encouraged us are very blessed, and we thank all of you. I thank my children, Molly and Charlie. I am so proud to have opened a door over the last 45 years to some incredible artists, and none more deserving of the acclaim than the immensely talented Branden Jacobs Jenkins. 

Branden Jacobs Jenkins: I want to thank good orderly direction, I want to thank the Tony nominators, I want to thank the Tony voters, I want to thank these amazing audiences we’ve had for giving me the opportunity to stand up here and actually say thank you to the real-life actors in my real-life family drama, starting with an amazing man who I get to share father’s day with for the rest of my life, Cheo Bourne who is is in the audience. I want to wish a happy single mother’s day to my mother Patricia Jacobs, who has been my first hero in life and art. I want to thank my brother and sister Bradley and Brittany Jacobs who have given me so much material for many plays about siblings for the rest of my life. I want to thank my father who told me early on to find something that you love in life and get someone to pay you for it. I followed that advice and I’m here right now and I’m so thankful for that. I want to thank this family behind me. I want to thank my sister from another mister, Lila Neugebauer. And I especially want to thank Carole Rothman for saying yes after years and years of being told I was too risky, I was too provocative and too not commercial enough. I really want to share my small part of this big award with the company and Ossie Davis’s family. Because the truth is, without Ossie Davis I wouldn’t be here. Without Purlie Victorious Appropriate would not be here. People come up here and say it all the time, but it’s true, if you guys want this we can have an arrangement of custody, he can haunt my bedroom, I don’t care, tell me the secrets! And for those of you are worried about Henry Gibson, he’s been dead for over 100 years and he’s already won this twice. 


Best Play 

David Adjmi: My agent gave me a beta blocker but it’s not working. Oh no. I have to thank the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League for this unbelievable honor. This almost didn’t happen. This play took me 11 years to manifest in a production, and it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Adam Greenfield and Playwrights Horizons, the off-Broadway theatre that gave us a world class production that we basically transferred to the Broadway stage. Thank you so much to Playwrights Horizons. Thank you so much to our incredible Broadway producers Sue Wagner and John Johnson, and all of you. Sue, when we said we were going to transfer this to Broadway, I said I don’t want to have stars in this play, and Sue said but David they are stars. And she’s right. Thank you so so much to my, I’m not going to name all of the names, but my incredible creative team, my brilliant cast. Every single person in front of house and back of house and all around the house. You guys are unbelievable. I don’t even have the words to describe how incredible this team is. This has been the best experience of my entire life. This was a very hard journey to get this play up here and I just want to say thank you to all of my friends who helped me in ways both emotionally and financially to Michael Mckeel and Fran Offenhauser, who gave me a place to live for seven years so that I could write this play and stand here and accept this award. It’s really hard to make a career in the arts. We need to fund the arts in America. It is the hallmark of a civilized society. I want to dedicate this to the artists out there, thank you so, so much, this is for us. Thank you. 

Adam Greenfield: Every play nominated in this category tonight came from an off-Broadway theatre. Playwrights Horizons stands very proudly among our peers and if a culture of risk-taking new work is important, we need the support of our city to maintain that. I want to thank everybody on staff at Playwrights Horizons, especially Carol Fishman, Natasha Sinha, Leslie Marcus. Thank you to our Board of Directors. Thank you to Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Greg Nobile and each and every producer and co-producer. Thank you to my dear friends, David Adjmi, Daniel Aukin, Ryan Rumery, Justin Craig, Will Butler, every actor, every designer, every technician, every stage manager who worked on this play. You all are so lovely. This play is about the torture of making art with other people, but god bless you. Thank you.

Merrily We Roll Along

Best Revival of a Musical

Sonia Friedman, Producer: Thank you to the American Theatre Wing. Steve Sondheim and George Furth wrote this musical over 40 years ago, and I think for all of those who were there then, this is proof that what you had then was indeed a masterpiece, and I want to hand this to my sister. My sister, Maria Friedman, the great artist, the great director, she first came across the musical 30 years ago, it’s been in her life all this time. Maria found this unconventional masterpiece, found the raw emotion in the center of it, and turned into absolute gold, and Broadway is so lucky to have this work, and you. 

Maria Friedman, Director: I first of all want to say an enormous thank you for the love that we’ve all felt from the company, from you all. But, Steve, I knew him and miss him terribly. There was a line that flew out on opening night to me from the show, which is, “Musicals are popular, they’re a great way of stating important ideas, ideas that can really change the world, make a difference.” And then Frank turns to Charlie and says, “Charlie, we can change the world.” Well, Steve and George, Merrily is popular. 

Sarah Paulson, Appropriate

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

It is humbling to be included in the same breath as Amy Ryan, Rachel McAdams, Betsy Aidem, and the great Jessica Lange. I thank the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League for this honor. An abundance of gratitude to Carole Rothman and Second Stage Theatre for giving us a home at the Hayes. To our intrepid producers who brought us to the Belasco. Kristin Caskey, Bee Carrozzini, and everyone at ATG, J.J. Abrams, everyone at Bad Robot Live, I thank you. To our front-of-house and back-of-house crews at both theatres, we could not do this without you. Hylda Queally, Joe Machota, for the wonderful gift of representation that actually encourages theatrical commitments. Thank you Alla Plotkin, my publicist in my life for 20 years. I think you wanted this for me more than anyone in this room. Lila Neugebauer, boundless gratitude for your keen eye and your sure hand. Corey, Michael, Natalie, Elle, Ella, Graham, Alyssa, Lincoln, and Everett. You astonish me nightly. You have become my family and I am never letting you go. Julia Crockett I am forever in your debt. Holland, thank you for loving me. I am standing here tonight because of the mighty talent that is Branden Jacobs Jenkins. I will never be able to convey my gratitude to you for trusting me, for letting me hold the hand of Toni Lafayette. A woman you have written who makes no apology. Who isn’t begging to be liked or approved of, but does hope to be seen. But don’t we all. As a young actress, I remember seeing Janet McTeer burst onto stage in A Doll’s House in the very theatre I am currently living in. And some nights when I’m backstage I think of the indelible impact of her. I think about the walls of theatres all over this magical town, holding the impact of each and every one of you in this room and all of those who came before, and I think, how lucky those walls are to bear witness to the relentless interrogation of human experience that we endevor to explore nightly for each other to give back to one another, with the hope of finding some shared path toward the truth about being alive. This is the heart and soul of what we do, and I am so honored to be amongst you. Thank you.

Maleah Joi Moon, Hell's Kitchen

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

I can’t even read my handwriting! Thank you God for this blessing, there is no gift, there is no me without you. Thank you to the American Theatre Wing, thank you to my village, my team, Sherry, Brian, Christine, and Jill Fritzo PR. My family, my best friends from Franklin, my teachers from Franklin for believing in my potential, thank you for taking care of me. Thank you to the entire community of Hell’s Kitchen Broadway and the Shubert Theatre. Our creative team, Alicia, my family down at The Public Theater, you saw something in me a few years ago and you nurtured that thing ever since. I’d like to dedicate this award to my parents, Fabia and Steve. Dad, you’ve been working all your life. Mom, you came to America at 17 and you’ve been surviving ever since. And Hell’s Kitchen is about a 17 year old on the cusp of a dream, I can’t imagine how many dreams deferred, how many sacrifices each of you made to give me the life that I have today. So, tonight all I hope is that you just get to celebrate, because this is for you and we did this together. I love you more than words. Thank you.

Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

I grew up in a house surrounded by cornfields in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I was raised by my parents Jim and Julie Groff, and my brother David, and the three of them are sitting right there. Thank you for letting me dress up like Mary Poppins when I was three. Thank you for letting me act out scenes from I Love Lucy on my 10th birthday. Thank you for always allowing my freak flag without ever making me feel weird about it. Even if they didn’t always understand me, my family knew the life-saving power of fanning the flame of a young person’s passions without judgment. I walk through life with an open heart because you let me know that I could. Thank you. I love you. Thank you to all of my teachers back in Pennsylvania, especially Sue Fisher who told me I could do this for a living. I moved to New York exactly 20 years ago this year and I got a job waiting tables and became a volunteer for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, and all I wanted was the be a part of this community. Thank you to everyone involved in Spring Awakening who not only made that dream come true, but also inspired me to come out of the closet when I was 23. I’m now 39 and musical theatre is still saving my soul. Maria Friedman, thank you for letting be your Franklin Shepard in this production of Merrily and allowing me the chance to accept, respect, and express both the lightest and darkest parts of myself. Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, you are more than old friends, you are soulmates, and I’m looking forward to watching each other change for the rest of our lives. Thank you to every member of the extraordinary cast for lifting this Merrily into the spiritual stratosphere. Thank you to everyone working inside the Hudson Theatre. Thank you New York Theater Workshop. Thank you Jim, Lonny, Ann, and the original company and creative team of Merrily. Special thank you to Sonia Friedman, Jim Carnahan, Tom Broecker, Hayley King, Joe Machota, and Jenny Tversky. Happy Birthday to Rick and Max. And finally I just want to say when I was a kid in Pennsylvania, I used to record the Tony awards on a VHS tape and watch the performances over and over again, and to actually be able to be a part of making theatre in this city, and just as much to be able to watch the work of this incredible incredible community has been the greatest gift and pleasure of my life and I thank you. And thank you so much for this honor.

The Outsiders

Best Musical 

Matthew Rego, Producer: 

On behalf of my partners at the Araca Group, my brother Michael Rego, and Hank Unger, my producing partners Zoetrope, Olympus Theatricals, In Fine Company and Angelina Jolie, as well as La Jolla Playhouse, and all of our co-producers, we thank you for this great honor. Creating The Outsiders required an extraordinary collective of unparalleled artists coming together to tell this story in service of a singular vision, and for that and so much more we thank Adam Rapp, Jonathan Clay, Zach Chance, Justin Levine, Rick Kuperman, Jeff Kuperman and Danya frickin Taymor! We thank our amazing group of designers, actors, stage managers and musicians. We thank the incredible stage crew, front of house crew, back office, management and marketing teams, and a special thank you to Bob Wankel and the entire Shubert organization. Susie Hinton wrote The Outsiders 60 years ago and she has gratefully received accolades ever since. But she often says that she still gets overwhelmed when told that The Outsiders changed someone’s life, because she’ll say “Who am I to change anyone’s life? It’s the book, it’s not the author, it’s the message, not the messenger.” Well, Susie, I am here to tell you that your story and its eternal message of love, and family, and staying gold, has forever changed all of our lives. We love you, thank you.