(CTN News) – There is a historic milestone being achieved at this year’s Tony Awards, as J. Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell have become the first openly nonbinary actors to win an acting Tony Award for their work.
In the category of lead actor (musical), Ghee received the Tony Awards for portraying Jerry in Casey Nichollaw’s Some Like It Hot. Newell won the category of featured actor (musical) for playing Lulu in Jack O’Brien’s Shucked.
According to Ghee, their win was a testament to their upbringing and the belief that they were meant to make a difference to the world, dedicating their win to all transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming individuals who were told they could not be themselves or seen.
A significant part of the credit for overcoming such limitations goes to Some Like It Hot.
The actor, who plays a lead role in Fox’s anthology series Accused, was interviewed by Variety about his decision to submitthe Tony Awards and Primetime Emmys.
This is for hisActing, they said, isn’t a gendered profession to them and they were pleased to have the option to determine how they wished to be recognized for their work.
Upon taking their decision, Ghee viewed it as an act of confidence and intentionality on their part in what they do.
Newell expressed their gratitude to Broadway, in their acceptance speech, for acknowledging their presence and popularity despite the fact that they are a queer, non-binary, fat, Black individual from Massachusetts. As a result, theytheir own capabilities to realize that whatever they set their minds to, they can accomplish.
As part of another interview with Variety, Newell explained their decision for competing in the supporting actor category, noting that acting transcends gender and is an art form that is not limited in any way. They made their decision based on the gender-neutral nature of the word “actor.”.
An original musical by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally with lyrics by Robert Horn and music by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally premiered at the Nederlander Theatre on April 4 as part of the Nederlander Festival.
Even though there was no script for the 76th Tony Awards due to a deal, the show still managed to go ahead, allowing viewers to see host Ariana DeBose’s improv skills alongside her singing and dancing abilities.