However, many Broadway fans felt that Patten would have done better to reject the honor altogether.
“Jagged Little Pill,” which premiered on Broadway in December 2019, uses songs from Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album of the same name to convey a 21st-century parable about mental health, sexuality, racism and addiction. Patten plays Jo, a tormented teenager whose chilling version of “You Oughta Know” is the most buzzed moment.
“We are in the middle of a reckoning in our industry,” Patten told the crowd about Tony in his acceptance speech. “First of all, I want to thank my trans and non-binary friends and colleagues who have engaged me in difficult conversations, who have joined me in the dialogue about my character Jo.”
“I think the future of change we need to see on Broadway comes from these kinds of conversations that are filled with honesty, empathy and respect for our shared humanity,” he continued. “And I’m very excited to see the action coming from them and to see where that leads our future as theater artists in this country.”
However acclaimed Patten’s performance is, however, her win comes amid a wave of controversy over “Jagged Little Pill.” Earlier on Sunday, the Actors Fairness Association announced that it was start an investigation after two of the show’s cast members, Nora Schell and Celia Rose Gooding, claimed that the production workplace was harmful to transgender and non-binary people.
Schell, a non-binary actor who uses hers / them pronouns, stated on Friday on social media that members of the show’s creative team forced them to delay “a critical and necessary surgery to remove the growths from my vagina that were making me anemic” early in the performance of the musical. That same day, Gooding Announced that he would not return to the show after the cast’s performance at the Tony Awards, citing “the damage ‘Jagged’ has done to the trans and non-binary community.”
On Sunday, actor Antonio Cipriano also announced that he was leaving the musical. “As a member of the [Broadway] community, I recognize my privilege and I assume the responsibility of being part of the damage caused ”. he tweeted.
Unsurprisingly, the news of Patten’s victory did not sit well with many viewers on social media.
In addition to the recent allegations, “Jagged Little Pill” previously drew ire from the non-binary community. changing Jo from a non-gender-conforming character to a cisgender woman when the musical moved to Broadway after a run in Boston.
Producers Vivek Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price initially denied changing Jo’s gender identity, but later acknowledged that they had “made mistakes in the way we handle this evolution.”
“In a process designed to clarify and simplify, many of the lines that singled out Jo as gender nonconforming, and with them something vital and integral, were removed from Jo’s character journey,” wrote the producers. in a statement of September 17. “We should have protected and celebrated the fact that non-binary audience members saw Jo as a bold, challenging, complex and vibrant representation of their community.”
On a live Instagram interview on September 18 With actress Shakina Nayfack, Patten revealed that she had considered leaving “Jagged Little Pill” amid the furor surrounding her character. Ultimately, he said, he wanted “to be part of the reopening of the show on Broadway.” and swore that Jo’s character would be played by trans and non-binary actors in the future.
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