After winners accept their Tony Awards onstage, they travel outside of Radio City Music Hall across the street to meet the press.
Below are six moments the broadcast cameras didn’t capture. For a full rundown of events in the Tony Awards media room, read through our live blog of the night.
1. History-maker Ali Stroker finished her acceptance speech, which had been played off during the broadcast.
“I was thanking my partner David, who has stuck by me for so many years and has believed in me for every single part of my career He reminds me every day to let my light shine, and I really want to make sure that is known.”
2. Sam Mendes, who won for Best Direction of a Play for The Ferryman, sent along an acceptance speech via email:
“I’m heartbroken not to be there. I am making a new movie in Scotland and am completely unable to take the time away. But to state the obvious, I’m utterly thrilled.
“It’s a little bit bonkers trying to make theatre on Broadway, to be dealing with something so fragile in such a rough and tumble environment. But when it works, it’s like nowhere else in the world. So I’m hugely grateful for the embrace New York has given this play and this production.
“The Ferryman was a special experience from the moment that Jez Butterworth—in his typically mad and beautiful way—handed me the script in a plastic bag at a football match... Special producers: Sonia Friedman, Caro Newling and the Royal Court; two entire companies of very special actors; a special group of collaborators; special babies, special rabbits; special geese and of course a very, very special play.
“I have lost count of the times on this job that I’ve counted my lucky stars. And now, again, I’m left to reflect on what a privilege—what an absolute privilege it is—to be able to tell stories for a living.”
3. Terrence McNally accepted the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre during a commercial break. Here is an excerpt of his speech:
“Lifetime achievement: not a moment too soon. I love being a playwright. The hours are flexible, and you don’t have to wear a tie—unless you’re invited to the Tonys.
“I love it when I wrote my first play about George and Ira Gershwin …I loved it when my first play crashed and burned—[as someone told me] ‘If you ain’t been thrown, you ain’t rode.’ I love it when my second play was a success and I could quit my job as a magazine editor. I love it when I remember the little boy I was…. I love it when I remember not being able to get out of my seat after a devastating performance of Long Day’s Journey Into Night. I love it when my parents, shaken by their experience at Death of a Salesman—it changed their lives— father quit his job at General Foods and struck out on his own. …I love it when I remember the artists who try to help us understand the devastation of AIDS even when they were stricken with it themselves. I love it when I remember theatre changes hearts. That secret place where we all truly live. I love my playwright years—past present—and especially future.
“Your commitment to this ancient art form assures me that what we do matters …to remind us what kindness truth and beauty are. ‘Oh brave new world [pause]’—leave it to me to mess up Shakespeare—‘Oh brave new world that has such people in it.’ Shakespeare’s talking to all of us. No one does it alone. Especially playwrights, least of all, this one. Tonight is overwhelming.”
4. André De Shields is a believer in astrology.
“I gaze at the stars because the stars gaze at me. Capricorns are mountain climbers. I’m looking for my next peak.”
5. Stephanie J. Block cried happy tears through her interview in the media room.
When she took the stage for her first win, she wasn’t sure what to do: “I don’t know how this works. Do I sing 16 bars?” she asked at the microphone. She revealed what was written in the journal entry that she held in her hands during her onstage acceptance speech: “It was a letter to Jesus that said thank you for giving me the strength. Thank you for allowing me to be an artist. …It was all four word affirmations.” Yes, Cher did text her before tonight wishing her luck and love. And yes, Block was made aware of Cher's Twitter response to her win.
6. Jez Butterworth and Mark Rylance could reunite.
Butterworth won Best Play for The Ferryman. When asked if he would like to reunite with Mark Rylance, who starred in his Jerusalem, he responded, “I would fervently look forward to that,” to which producer Sonia Friedman coyly added, “We’re working on it.” Stay tuned for more...