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Through their acceptance speeches, 2023 Tony winners speak on broader issues

Brandon Uranowitz, Bonnie Milligan, Alex Newell and more used their few minutes of telecast time to send big messages.

Brandon Uranowitz accepts the award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for “Leopoldstadt” (Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The 2023 Tony Awards may have gone unscripted, but there was no shortage of amazing dialogue. From the get-go, winners used their platforms and the few minutes they had at the microphone to speak to a myriad of issues.

During the official “Act One” pre-show, scenic designer Beowulf Boritt won his second Tony (his first for designing a musical). Boritt used time in his acceptance speech to speak to gender inequality in the theater. As he repeated to the Tony First Impressions cam, “This was a show led by two women: Sonia Friedman and Susan Stroman. And I just keep trying to point out to people that 50 percent of the population is not equally represented in the theater and we are trying to make strides in making ourselves more inclusive but … you look at any of the statistics and they’re not flattering.”

Themes of equality and acceptance surfaced over and over as Broadway’s biggest night continued into the main telecast.

Actor Brandon Uranowitz, who in May earned his fourth Tony nomination for his turn in “Leopoldstadt,” won for the first time. After thanking his own family and support system, he made a direct appeal to all of the parents watching: “When your child tells you who they are, believe them,” he urged. “An authentic life is a limitless life. Protect, celebrate and water that truth.”

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