Oh, what a beautiful morning!
On Tuesday, Broadway actress Ali Stroker appeared on the Today show to discuss her history-making win at Sunday’s Tony Awards. Stoker took home the award for best featured actress in a musical for her role in Oklahoma! She is the first performer in a wheelchair to snag the coveted honor.
“It was wild,” she said during an appearance on the NBC morning news show. “You know, you hear your name and you never know how it’s going to feel and I just immediately felt so emotional and to go out on the stage at radio city and there are 6,000 people standing for you, it was just a dream come true.”
The 31-year-old made an emotionally rousing acceptance speech at the ceremony on Sunday, dedicating it to “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 furthered that sentiment on the Today show explaining, “I think about myself watching the Tonys for years and years…I always wondered if I could ever do that because I didn’t see myself in any of the performers…you are looking for yourself to sort of give you some kind of hope and confidence that you can do it, too. So that was for all of those young people who have a dream and want to see that, oh, it is possible.”
Stroker also added that her parents are “so proud” of her after the win. “It’s been amazing with them, for them to watch me really from the beginning,” she said in the interview. “We went through the accident and it was so difficult and to come out on the other side in such a powerful place, I think for them I have been their life’s work, their entire life, and so to see this happen, I think it’s just beyond what they could have ever dreamt.”