"I have four amazing scene partners, and I love them all," the Light in the Piazza Tony winner — whose comic and moving performance as Mamita culminates in a soaringly beautiful rendition of "Say a Prayer" — told Playbill.com the morning nominations were announced.
"When you get to spar with the likes of Dee Hoty, when you get to hug and flirt with Howard McGillin, when you get to love up Vanessa Hudgens, what could be better? And, I fight, love and admonish Corey Cott every night. They're four amazing scene partners and they're so alive and they're so present, and my nomination represents their work because they're up there with me. The only reason I'm nominated is because of them, because of my scene partners. I wouldn't be there otherwise."
Clark, who was also previously nominated for her work in Sister Act and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, said that she was "thrilled" by her her current nomination, explaining, "It's really lovely. I know that a lot of it is very subjective. I think the word people use a lot is political. I don't know how political it is — I think it's very subjective because people look at performances and it's hard to — at least with the actors — separate our careers from that one isolated performance. … To me, it just feels like an acknowledgment of a career's worth of work… it's a little bit cumulative.
"But, you know, it is such apples and oranges. There's no way that you can compare, in any of the categories; it's everybody just striving to do their best work. I think, in this case, getting the nomination really is getting the win, for any of us, because it's such a varied and healthy season, and there's so many people that were left out. … And, we want to encourage people who are stepping out of normal roles. We want to encourage [It Shoulda Been You's] David Hyde Pierce to direct all over the place."
Pierce isn't the only Tony winner with a knack for directing. Clark herself recently directed a school production of Piazza and hopes to work more on the other side of the stage. "In five years I see myself directing quite a bit," Clark said, "with regional theatres, with non-for-profit and commercial theatre. In five years I'll probably be doing a bit more television and film and probably once my son is out of college — and hopefully with a job at some point — I see myself being able to take a little more time off," she said with a laugh. "I'm very grateful for the work, and grateful for the opportunity to share my vision, and I'm very excited about directing new work in particular."
And, she is equally grateful for her current co-stars, putting in another plug for Cott. "I think Corey Cott is giving the breakout performance of the season," Clark said. "This guy literally came out of nowhere, and he stops the show cold every single night with 'Gigi.'"