The annual Tony Awards were held Sunday night and aired live on CBS the awards show which celebrates theater and Broadway made history as Ali stroker became the first person who uses a wheelchair to be nominated for and go on to win a Tony Award. Stroker 31 who lost both of her legs in a car accident when she was 2 years old accepted the award for best-featured actress for her performance in the revival of the musical “Oklahoma”. A ramp had not been built to the stage but Ali was backstage after her performance earlier in the evening.
During her acceptance speech, Stroker said the award was “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.”
Speaking to reporters following her win, Ali Stroker said that Broadway theaters are generally accessible to audience members with disabilities but backstage areas are not.
” I would ask theater owners and producers to really look into how they can begin to make the backstage accessible so that performers with disabilities can get around,” she said.
Vanessa Vasquez who met and became friends with Ali in 2013 shared the following exclusively with Trevor Decker News.
“I met Ali Stroker in 2013 during my time with be more heroic (an anti bully org we we’re both a part of) and from the moment I met her her presence lit up the room. Such a ball of energy with nothing but positivity and a great outlook on life. Even though life has kept us busy the conversations and moments we shared are ones that I will always hold close to my heart. It brings me great joy to say congrats to my friend for making history being the first disabled person to win a Tony. It has always been her mission remind people that you can do whatever you want to do regardless of your limitations, she’s made a career out of it and now tonight it comes full circle. She’s such a positive light for the disabled community and as someone who uses a wheelchair myself this is ,a wi n for all of us. So once again huge congrats to Ali. I love you always and forever my friend”