Tony Award winner Ali Stroker makes history as first wheelchair user to win trophy

A handicapped Broadway star who won a Tony Award on Sunday night made history as the first person in a wheelchair to win the coveted trophy.

Ali Stroker, 31, captured a Best Featured Actress in a Musical Tony at Radio City Music Hall in New York for her role as Ado Annie in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” which is currently playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre in Manhattan.

“This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena — you are,” Stroker told the audience.

Ali Stroker, 31, made history on Sunday night when she won a Tony Award for her role in “Oklahoma!” (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Stroker previously made history in “Spring Awakening” in 2015 as the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway. A New Jersey native, she was paralyzed from the chest down due to a car crash when she was 2 years old.

The 31-year-old told The Associated Press on Sunday that her role in “Oklahoma!” is “just a dream come true.”

“I’ve been singing since I was 7 years old and for me singing is where I have no limitations,” she said. “It is where I feel most powerful, and my voice and the ability to create music has, I think, really brought me out of all of the hardship that I’ve been through, and it’s brought me here today into my most powerful self.”

Nominated for eight Tony Awards, “Oklahoma!” also won for “best revival of a musical.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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