Out playwright Matthew López is now the first Latino to win a Tony award for Best Play.
López’s play, “The Inheritance,” took the top honors in a category that also included “Slave Play,” “The Sound Inside,” “Grand Horizons,” and “Sea Wall/A Life.” Inspired by E.M Forster’s novel, “Howard’s End,” “The Inheritance” tells the story of gay life in the early 21st century, a generation after the AIDS pandemic.
“This is the 74th Tony Awards and yet I am only the first Latine writer to win in this category. I say that not to elicit your applause, but to highlight the fact that the Latine community is underrepresented in American theatre, in New York theatre, and most especially on Broadway,” he said in his acceptance speech after thanking his husband. “We constitute 19 percent of the United States population, and we represent about 2 percent of the playwrights having plays on Broadway in the last decade. This must change.”
López also paid homage to Forster, the late American playwright Terrance McNally, and Miguel Piñero, who was the first Puerto Rican playwright to have his work produced on Broadway.
“We are a vibrant community, reflecting a vast array of cultures, experiences, and yes, skin tones,” he added. “We have so many stories to tell; they are inside of us aching to come out. Let us tell you our stories.”
“The Inheritance” won four out of its 11 nominations, including the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor (Andrew Burnap), Best Performance by a Featured Actress (Lois Smith), and Best Direction (Stephen Daldry).
Other big winners of the night were “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” which beat out “Jagged Little Pill” for Best Musical, and “A Soldier’s Play,” which won Best Revival.