Glee Project Star Ali Stroker Is First Wheelchair User To Win At The Tonys


  • Ali Stroker made history when she became the first wheelchair user to win the award for featured actress in a musical at the 2019 Tony Awards.
  • The Former Glee Project contestant was paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when she was 2.
  • Ali bagged the Tony for her role as Ado Annie, a flirtatious woman who got involved with two men in a small town in Oklahoma.

Former Glee Project contestant Ali Stroker made history when she won the award for featured actress in a musical at the 2019 Tony Awards.

Photo Credit: Kristina Bumphrey

The Oklahoma actress was paralyzed from the waist down when as a toddler, she got involved in a car accident. Ali became the first wheelchair user to win an award at the Tonys. She bagged the Tony for her role as Ado Annie, a flirtatious woman who got involved with two men in a small town in Oklahoma.
Ali talked about the importance of representation during her acceptance speech.
“This award is for every kid who has a disability, a limitation or a challenge who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena,” Ali said, before thanking her partner David Perlow for “believing in every part” of her career.
Annie’s big number in Oklahoma, “I Can’t Say No,” is an energetic and fun song in which Ali uses her wheelchair to dance and roam around the stage.
“Not a lot of people have seen someone use a wheelchair the way I do,” Ali told The Los Angeles Times before the award show. “I have been in my chair since I was in an auto accident when I was 2 years old, so the way I move is very organic. The wheelies are an unpredictable movement I use throughout the show and on purpose. I compare it to someone doing a dance movement. How I move in my chair is one of the most thrilling parts for me of doing this revival.”

Photo Credit: Ashley Lee

In 2015, Ali appeared on Broadway in the revival of Spring Awakening before being cast in Oklahoma. She graduated from the NYU with a musical theater degree before becoming the first wheelchair user to appear on the Broadway stage.  Spring Awakening also featured a cast that included many hearing-impaired actors.
Ali also had appeared on TV shows like Ten Days In the Valley, Faking It, and Drunk History. Following her Tony win, Broadway will probably want to keep her around for quite some time.

Source: Refinery29
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