Ali Stroker Makes History With 2019 Tony Awards Win
Proving there is nothing in this world you can't accomplish if you put your mind to it, Ali Stroker became the first person in a wheelchair ever nominated for (and, later in the evening, to win) a Tony Award.
The 31-year-old Broadway star made Tony Award history when she took home the trophy for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Ado Annie in Rodgers & Hammerstein's 'Oklahoma!' According to Fox News, Stroker was paralyzed from the chest down due to a car crash when she was 2-years-old.
She pursued musical theatre as a kid even though there weren't many like her in the industry. Her desire to achieve her goals kept her pursuing her dream. She appeared on 'The Glee Project,' a reality show that earned her a guest spot on 'Glee.' She made history once before with her first appearance on Broadway with her role in 2015's 'Spring Awakening,' as the first Broadway actor to use a wheelchair in a production.
Upon winning the award Stroker said in her acceptance speech, "This award 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 — you are." She went on to tell reporters, "Living with a disability, you can feel limited at times. But when I sing, I can fly. I am free." Truly an inspiring example to all.