A Strange Loop's L Morgan Lee made history today, becoming the first openly Trans Tony Award-nominated performer for her work in the musical, the most nominated production of the season. Lee is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her performance as Thought 1. See the full list of 2022 Tony Award nominations here.
“My mind isn't processing that this is real," shares Lee. "I can't stop crying. To specifically be a Trans actress in the company of these incredible women that I respect and have enjoyed for many years... This nomination is SO much bigger than me. I hope someone will see this moment and feel like they can go on. No matter what the world, or school, or people tell them they are 'supposed' to be, how they are 'supposed' to sound, that they will keep striving to love and embrace the fullest version of who they are. That they can safely find breath in choosing truth. That they will keep studying and working and dreaming the biggest dreams."
Though Lee's nomination is a first for Trans performers, she is not the first to perform on the Main Stem. RuPaul's Drag Race alum Peppermint was the first openly Trans woman to originate a role when she starred in Head Over Heels, and we've also seen performances from such Trans and non-binary artists as Alexandra Billings, Kate Bornstein, Ty Defoe, iris menas, and more.
Lee became a standout presence and Trans theatre icon performing in the world premiere company of A Strange Loop Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2019. Since then, she's won a Mark O’Donnell Prize and has been developing The Danish Girl in the U.K., starring as Lili Elbe, and creating The Women with A Strange Loop choreographer Raja Feather Kelly. The latter piece, a collection of works exploring what it means to be a woman, received a reading at Ars Nova in 2021.
Lee is nominated alongside Girl From the North Country's Jeannette Bayardelle, Mr. Saturday Night's Shoshana Bean, The Music Man's Jayne Houdyshell, and Company's Patti LuPone and Jennifer Simard.
Keep checking Playbill for the latest in 2022 Tony Awards coverage.