Ali Stroker Talks Making Broadway History With Her 2019 Tony Nomination

Video   Ali Stroker Talks Making Broadway History With Her 2019 Tony Nomination
 
Oklahoma!'s Ado Annie shares her story and pride in being the first actor in a wheelchair nominated for a Tony Award.

Ali Stroker made history April 30 as she was announced as a Tony Award nominee for her performance in Broadway’s Oklahoma!, currently running at the Circle in the Square Theatre. She is the first performer in a wheelchair to be nominated for the theatre honor.

She appeared on CBS This Morning May 2 to share her story and discuss the milestone moment.

“Tuesday was just one of these moments when I found out that I was nominated, and I felt like I arrived at the dream,” Stroker said, beaming.

READ: ‘This is How I Roll… Literally’ — Ali Stroker On Auditioning the Same Way She Dates and Making Broadway History

Stroker was injured in a car accident when she was two years old and has been in a wheelchair since. She began performing at age seven.

“Performing for me has been a moment where I felt like I was my most powerful self. I became hooked,” she said. “Growing up in a chair, I was used to people staring and looking at me, and that was difficult. And then when I got onstage people were staring and looking at me for the reason that I wanted. And I felt powerful.”

Famous for the song “I Cain’t Say No,” Ado Annie earns a sex-positive spin with Stroker's portrayal. (Watch her sing the song here.) “Ado Annie is just a woman who wants to explore, and she does that through relationships,” she said. “One of my other favorite parts of doing this show is all of a sudden we are dealing with disability and sexuality—at the same time.”

Of Oklahoma!'s myriad Broadway incarnations, Stroker is the first performer to be Tony-nominated for the role.

READ: How Do This Year's Tony-Nominated Revivals Stack Up Against Their Previous Productions?

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