'I'm in Shock a Little Bit' — Tony Award Nominees React

Associated Press

Monday May 9, 2022

Ruth Negga during a performance of "Macbeth" in New York.
Ruth Negga during a performance of "Macbeth" in New York.  (Source:Joan Marcus/Polk & Co. via AP)

Some reactions from Tony Award nominees on Monday:

"Coming out of the pandemic, I just feel a validation and a further mandate to keep digging down into the Blackness of my art and to put that forward as something that's worth paying attention to and shelling out money to produce and shelling out money to come and see because it is worth it. Because Black artists have been doing incredible work for a century." — Playwright Michael R. Jackson, whose musical "A Strange Loop" earned 11 Tony nominations, in an interview.

"I said every single day during that pandemic, as I was struggling to pay rent, struggling just to figure out how to get through it, that I just wanted to be there on the other side, that bringing back theater was the most important thing in my mind." — Matt Doyle, nominated for featured actor in a musical for "Company," in an interview.

"I'm in shock a little bit. I'm just sort of absorbing it all. My aim from the start of this journey was just to be in a really great production with great people and you can't ask much more than Martin McDonough, and David Threlfall and the rest of the cast, it's just been fantastic — I'm just on Cloud 9 a little bit, I'm out having some pancakes, and I am having a lovely morning." — Alfie Allen, nominated for "Hangmen," in an interview.

"This is my first time having this experience in the box, having experience on stage, and that fellowship, that dynamic, that partnership, that reliance we have with each other, that interplay with the audience is critical and something new to me. So it's a thrilling ride." — Jesse Williams, nominated for "Take Me Out," in an interview.

"This type of stuff doesn't happen for folks like me. Or so I thought. Until today... I've put the possibility of even a Tony nomination out of my mind because I never believed it was possible for a person like me. I thought I had to be skinny, I thought I had to be masculine, I thought I had to be from a wealthy family, and I thought I had to be 'Perfect'. Turns out all I needed to be was Jaquel and that feels good as hell right now." — Jaquel Spivey, best actor nominee for "A Strange Loop, in a statement.

"This has been a historic season for a multitude of reasons. There's been a diversity of Black voices on Broadway in unprecedented numbers. Theater came back after being dark for almost two years and we made art while facing down COVID. And so this feels particularly good given all of the circumstances," Lynn Nottage, in an interview, after her book for the Michael Jackson musical "MJ" was nominated for best book and her play "Clyde's" got a nod for best play.

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"I'm not sure we've had a chance to really process what we've all been through collectively because we're all just trying to keep our heads down and do the work. But I will tell you this morning during the design awards (nominations), which were the first ones, I was shocked to see that I was weeping.... So I was overcome with emotion just for our community as a whole that we're back. And thank God we are. And I'm so, so, bloody grateful." — Jennifer Simard, nominated for "Company," in an interview.

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"I am ecstatic to have my name listed alongside those four brilliant artists for the next month, as we celebrate the resilience of this community. Our show has been through so much. This nomination honors all my remarkable colleagues at the Sondheim (Theater) who make my performance possible. I love them. " — Rob McClure, nominated for best leading actor in a musical for "Mrs. Doubtfire," in a statement.

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"I'm sitting here in the doctor's office pinching myself. This feels like a dream! It has definitely been a dream for a majority of my life! But, I would have never dreamt of it happening while being with child, working on a show that is extremely important to me, with a family/tribe of Sisters that mean the world to me. So grateful for Camille A. Brown for this experience and for her belief in me. I'm just grateful beyond grateful." — Kenita R. Miller, nominated for featured actress in a play for "for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enough," in a statement.

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"I am so moved by the relentless work of this entire cast and crew whom I ADORE beyond words. And of course to Sam Gold for his leadership and wisdom and integrity and trust. And to Barbara for being the kindest and biggest champion. Feel truly blessed to be surrounded by this gang!" — Ruth Negga, nominated for best actress for "Macbeth," in a statement.

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"What an unbelievable moment! 'Six' started as a student show performing in a hotel conference room. Every step since then has been a delight and a surprise. I never could have dreamed of us reaching Broadway, so getting nominated for a Tony Award is beyond words. So grateful and so happy!" — Jamie Armitage, nominated for best direction, in a statement.

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