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Ridgewood Native Ali Stoker Nominated for a Tony Award

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood native Ali Stroker, staring in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! has been nominated for a Tony in the  Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category. 

Stroker is no stranger to rewriting history. With her 2015 Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening,” she became the first actor in a wheelchair to perform on Broadway . Three years later, she’s back onstage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” as Ado Annie, the flirtatious local who splits her affections between a resident cowboy and a peddler from out of town. Stroker, who earned a nod for featured actress in a musical, is making her mark again, this time as the first wheelchair-bound performer to be nominated for a Tony Award.

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Ali Stroker Makes History as the First Performer in a Wheelchair in a Broadway Show

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MAY 31, 2016 – 9:14 AM

Ali Stroker says that her life took a radical turn the summer she was 7. Her next-door neighbor decided to direct a backyard production of Annie and cast Stroker as Annie. “It was a really special summer. I remember my life beginning,” says Stroker. From the time she was 2, a car accident left her paralyzed from the chest down. “I felt like my identity was around my wheelchair for so long” she says. “Once I started performing I was someone else. I could be an actress and singer and not just a girl in a wheelchair.”

From that Annie production, Stroker was hooked. Playing different roles, becoming a variety of people was healing. Performing bolstered her confidence. “It served different purposes not only in my career, but also helped me become the person that I am today,” she says. She also took voice lessons finding singing to be totally liberating. “Being paralyzed my body doesn’t necessarily always do what I want it to do,” Stroker explains. “But with my voice there are no limitations. It’s not held back by anything.”

http://parade.com/480945/jerylbrunner/ali-stroker-makes-history-as-the-first-performer-in-a-wheelchair-in-a-broadway-show/