2023 Tisch Tony Nominee Reactions

Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

The 2023 Tony Nominations were announced on May 2, 2023, recognizing 23 Tisch alumni and faculty members for their work on Broadway this year. In advance of the ceremony on Sunday, June 11, read below to learn how this year's nominees heard the news, and what it's like to have their work this season recognized by The Tony Awards.

See the full list of Tisch nominees here, and the full list of first reactions here on Playbill.

Crystal Lucas-Perry '13 (MFA, Graduate Acting)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Ain't No Mo'

"I don't think there's words, yet. I don't think it's hit me, yet. I just feel completely overwhelmed and so excited, because to be seen and acknowledged by our community in this way, it's just completely overwhelming...Since I was young, I've always wanted to know what it would be like. I was the kid growing up, who was in the living room putting on the plays, making her own award speeches. The beauty of my Broadway debuts this season is that I was able to be a part of two very powerful, provocative shows that dealt with history and that dealt with my Black body being out in the open. It was a real pleasure and a privilege to be able to do two pieces that I really cared about, and that I really think their stories needed to be told. I did a group call with my family who are all  tuning in. I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't have them. They're such a huge part of my support system. It's a lot of gratitude today. It's a lot of just being in the moment, trying to be present. I'm gonna go and celebrate with my cast over Zoom. That's my family. Those people are my family."

Suzan-Lori Parks (Faculty, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing)

Best Revival of a Play, Topdog/Underdog

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to have my work embraced and recognized! And I’m also so happy for Corey and Yahya! Our TOPDOG revival was a joyous team effort, with Kenny Leon leading the way! I’m doing my happy dance!”


Brandon Uranowitz '08 (BFA, Drama)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, Leopoldstadt

“I’m just floored and overwhelmed with gratitude. This play means more to me than I could ever articulate and to be recognized in this way is the honor of a lifetime. But, I have to say, Leopoldstadt is an ensemble piece in the truest sense of the word and my work cannot exist without the 37 extraordinary other actors on stage with me each night. I share this with them.”

Helen Park '13 (MFA, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing)

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, KPOP

"After dedicating eight years of my life to working on KPOP and dreaming of sharing my music with the world, I am honored and humbled to be included in such an esteemed group. The recognition of my work through this nomination is a testament to the tireless efforts of my incredible creative team and cast who joined me in pushing boundaries and bringing a never-before-seen performance to the Broadway stage. Their hard work and dedication have truly paid off, and I am thrilled to share this moment with them. I am at a loss for words, and deeply grateful for this recognition."

Max Vernon '13 (MFA, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing)

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, KPOP

"I'm thrilled to be nominated and also feel like I just drank ten coffees! KPOP's run was cut short, but it's so wonderful and moving to know that our score lives on. This month it will be nine years since our first workshop at Ars Nova. What a wild journey! I wish I could tell the five-year-old me who wanted to be Cosette in Les Mis about this."

Clint Ramos '97 (MFA, Design for Stage & Film)

Best Costume Design of a Musical, KPOP

"Happy AAPI Heritage Month! Thank you and we are so proud of our show. We dedicate this honor to the entire company of KPOP!"

David West Read '10 (MFA, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing)

Best Book of a Musical, & Juliet

"So many confetti cannons are firing off in my brain right now! I am beyond thrilled by the nine Tony nominations that & Juliet received this morning, and tremendously honored to be in the same category as writers I admire so much. In building this show, I have been lucky enough to collaborate with the most talented, passionate, generous, and kind producers, creative team, and cast, so it’s a complete joy to see my fellow team members welcomed and embraced by the Broadway community. We have all been inspired by the humble genius that is Max Martin, and we can’t wait to keep sharing his music, and this story, with audiences around the world."

Miriam Silverman (Faculty, Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing/Grad Acting)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window

"This morning is the last class of the semester at NYU. I teach both in the Dramatic Writing Program and in the MFA Acting Program, and it's my last class with my lovely writers and actors. We do a collaboration class and I just made a quick stop for doughnuts, because last week, they'd all seen the play and they said, 'You're gonna get a Tony nomination.' I said, 'No way guys! No way am I gonna get a Tony nomination!' And they're like, 'Yes, you are.' I was like, 'Alright, guys. I will bring doughnuts if I get a Tony nomination.' Like through tears, I went into The Donut Pub across the street. I've just been crying for the last hour. I ordered a bunch of donuts. I sort of feel like I'm on another planet, too, like in some alternate universe that I dreamed about happening at some point in my childhood and young adulthood. I was going to stay after and have a coffee with one of the students who wants to talk about grad school. But I might ask if we could do that next week. My best friend works at NYU, not in Tisch. She's going to come and give me a hug. I'll go buy some lunch, and then I'm going up to the theatre because we actually still have some rehearsal today.
This morning started with my kids and breakfast. The first bit of nominations on CBS I missed because I was dropping my four-year-old off at nursery school. And I just thought, 'Well, as long as I can get home by nine when they announce the rest, I'll be okay.' And I did. I got to actually watch the whole thing. I turned to my husband as we were watching and I was like, 'Really? Honey, this is so even ludicrous that we're even watching these like there's some possibility.' He's like, 'It's awesome. We'll remember watching this, even if nothing happens. You were close to it.' And then when it happened, it was like, 'Yeah, this is the best.'"

Kevin Cahoon '93 (BFA, Drama)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Shucked

"I was watching on my computer while FaceTiming with my mom.  I did my first Broadway show 29 years ago, and there were moments where I felt that may not happen. For it to happen today is beyond any dream that I still had. There was a yelp from 74th Street and a yelp from rural Texas. We both screamed. You're watching every category come through, and you're seeing friends get acknowledged. And then when they get to your category, my heart was beating. Oh my gosh, my palms are sweating, my heart is racing. This really does mean something. It's thrilling. It’s a validation of a lifetime commitment. It is a nod from your peers saying, 'You have done this, and you have done a good job.' Show business is hard, but it wasn't a choice for me. This was the only place I was going to spend my life, within the theatre. Whether it be here, or around the country somewhere. It's where I am meant to spend my life. And Broadway is the most incredible honor to be a part of. Whether I'm in the audience watching a show, or whether I have the good fortune to be on the stage. There's nothing like it. There's nothing like a Broadway show. And the laughter I've heard at Shucked every night is unlike any show I have ever done in my career. I just feel like this is a tonic for what we need right now."

Lap Chi Chu '88 (MFA, Design for Stage & Film)

Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Camelot

"What a great way to wake up! I’m thrilled and so proud that the Camelot design teams’ work is being recognized. Hooray for the 'Lusty Month of May'!"