My Three Take-Aways from Last Night’s Tony Awards

I have a theater kid, so Tony Sunday is like Super Bowl Sunday at our house. Snacks are gathered. Predictions are made.  There are cheers and few jeers, but (unlike the Super Bowl) in end, everyone (at least those who are watching) feels like your team won.

There were three themes that emerged from last night’s awards for me. My take-aways are not startling revelations, but reminders of things I already know. They are particularly good reminders for a parent whose child is planning a career in the theater, but are really things we would all (parent and child alike) do well to remember.

  1. It’s a long haul to success. I know. Duh. But even with the big win of Evan Hansen with it’s young composing team of Pasek and Paul and stand-out star, Ben Platt, it was clear that the race to success and acclaim is a marathon and not a sprint.  Best featured actor/actress winners Michael Aranov spoke of 25 years and Rachel Bay Jones claimed 35 years of working toward this. Overnight successes are few and far between.
  2. Family support is key. Just about every person who delivered an acceptance speech–particularly for acting roles– thanked parents and family members for their support and encouragement.  In fact, many said that there’s no way they would be on the stage without the support of family.
  3. Education was a big winner. Included with families in the speeches were shout outs to educational institutes (University of Michigan got a big one) and to particular educators. At at time when arts education is taking financial hits just about everywhere, the folks at The Tonys (which was sponsored in part by Carnagie Mellon) made a point of championing its importance.

Persistance, family support and education as the keys to success. Not breaking news for anyone, but I was glad my daughter (and I) got to see those principles displayed and celebrated on the Tony stage last night.

  • Bonus of the night:  Women over 40 ruled in all the best actress categories and also took away best director of a play and producer of best musical.  Mighty girls come in all ages.

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