Hamilton Receives A Record-Setting 16 Tony Nominations

Hamilton has made Tony Awards history. Photo by Joan Marcus, Courtesy Hamilton.

The 2016 Tony Award nominees have been announced. And, unsurprisingly, everyone's favorite musical that they've never seen, Hamilton, swept the ballots. In all, the show is up for 13 categories—every single one that involved musical theater, except revivals. And with multiple nominations in some, Hamilton has 16 shots at winning—the most in Broadway history.

June 2016

Even if you can't get tickets to the show, you can read all about the ensemble bringing the historic production to life—and what its runaway success might mean for dance on Broadway—in Dance Magazine's June issue. Go to dancemagazine.com/hamilton to pre-order your copy.

Who is Hamilton choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler's competition in the Best Choreography category? It's a mix of people that touch on many different styles of dance. There's Savion Glover, who brought true rhythm tap back to Broadway with Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed; Randy Skinner, with classic show tap that Broadway thrives on, in Dames at Sea; Hofesh Shechter's humanistic modern dance moves for Fiddler on the Roof; and Sergio Trujillo's authentic Cuban dances in On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. If anything, it's wonderful to see so many corners of the dance world meet on Broadway.

Here is the full list of musical nominees:

Best Musical

Bright Star

Hamilton

School of Rock - The Musical

Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Waitress

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple

Fiddler on the Roof

She Loves Me

Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical

Steve Martin for Bright Star

Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Julian Fellowes for School of Rock - The Musical

George C. Wolfe for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bright Star (Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Lyrics: Edie Brickell)

Hamilton (Music and lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda)

School of Rock - The Musical (Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: Glenn Slater)

Waitress (Music and lyrics: Sara Bareilles)

Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Alex Brightman for School of Rock - The Musical

Danny Burstein for Fiddler on the Roof

Zachary Levi for She Loves Me

Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton

Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti for She Loves Me

Carmen Cusack for Bright Star

Cynthia Erivo for The Color Purple

Jessie Mueller for Waitress

Phillipa Soo for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Daveed Diggs for Hamilton

Brandon Victor Dixon for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Christopher Fitzgerald for Waitress

Jonathan Groff for Hamilton

Christopher Jackson for Hamilton

Best Performance By an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danielle Brooks for The Color Purple

Renée Ellse Goldsberry for Hamilton

Jane Krakowski for She Loves Me

Jennifer Simard for Disaster!

Adrienne Warren for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin and Finn Ross for American Psycho

David Korins for Hamilton

Santo Loquasto for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

David Rockwell for She Loves Me

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes for Tuck Everlasting

Jeff Mahshle for She Loves Me

Ann Roth for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Paul Tazewell for Hamilton

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley for Hamilton

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Ben Stanton for Spring Awakening

Justin Townsend for American Psycho

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden for Spring Awakening

John Doyle for The Color Purple

Scott Ellis for She Loves Me

Thomas Kall for Hamilton

George C. Wolfe for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton

Savion Glover for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Hofesh Shechter for Fiddler on the Roof

Randy Skinner for Dames at Sea

Sergio Trujillo for On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan

Best Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen for Bright Star

Larry Hochman for She Loves Me

Alex Lacamoire for Hamilton

Daryl Waters for Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

 

See the full list of musical and play nominees here. James Corden of "The Late Late Show" will host this year's Tony Awards, airing on CBS on June 12 at 8/7 central.

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I'm a Professional Dancer With Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Here's Why Dance Companies Need to Start Prioritizing Mental Health

My name is Abi Stafford, and I have generalized anxiety disorder.

I've had this "hook" in my mind for how I'd open an important essay my entire dance career, but I was never ready to talk about it, until now.

I might be the only dancer to say this, but the best change to result from the coronavirus shutdown is company class moving to Zoom.

As a kid, my teachers encouraged competition between students. While it undoubtedly helped push me, all these years later I still struggle with unhealthy levels of competitive feelings in class. But on Zoom, I don't have to compare myself to anyone, and it feels great. I can dance freely because no one is watching and critiquing my abilities.

When the shutdown started, I was preparing to return to New York City Ballet after a hiatus. I had taken a leave of absence since December 2019, the middle of Nutcracker season, to focus on my mental health.

As NYCB underwent leadership transitions during the last few years and the culture among the dancers shifted, I had developed new feelings of anxiety. Some dancers felt more emboldened to ask for roles they wanted, envisioning exciting career possibilities. Others quietly wished casting choices would remain the same and sensed a more uncertain path. With my brother as artistic director, workplace dynamics collided with my personal life. Casting disappointments jabbed me painfully, and it became hard to find a corner in the theater where my soul felt safe.

It was difficult to officially inform the company that I needed to take a leave because I'd been burned when I'd shown my anxiety before. Back when Peter Martins was in charge, I had an anxiety attack backstage prior to Theme and Variations. I felt too insecure, too scared, too tired, and I couldn't fathom performing. He offered me en­coura­ge­ment at the time, but, several years later, he brought up the episode unexpectedly, pointing to that painful moment to explain why I wasn't reliable. The experience solidified that I should never show emotional vulnerabilities or weaknesses.

Fast-forward to December 2019. When I finally let myself stop dancing, literally mid-rehearsal, some colleagues tried to talk me out of it. While well-intentioned, their words made me feel worse because I started to question my choice. But it was the right decision for me. I have been focusing on my mental wellness, family and pursuing my law degree to heal my spirit as quarantine carries on.

I have lived and performed with (sometimes crippling) anxiety for my entire career, and I'm nowhere near the only one who's struggled. I know of a dancer who picked up her bag and quit in the middle of a rehearsal. One time a young dancer timidly asked a group of older dancers whether ballet company life was hard for them. Upon emphatic replies of "yes," he said, "I thought it was just me. Everyone walks around like they are just fine."

Dancers feel immense pressure from management to constantly be perfect onstage. Yet, we are at the mercy of our bodies. Those two factors are an excellent recipe for anxiety. Some dancers cry a lot. Others call out sick when they're too anxious to perform. Some even choose to retire altogether—far too young.

There needs to be more mental health support within dance companies. Psychological services should be made available to all dancers and artistic staff—including ballet masters. At my company, they're under an intense amount of pressure to prepare the vast repertory, and all are former NYCB dancers who shared similar experiences, stresses and pain during their own careers.

Overall, everyone needs to listen more. Artistic management could send out anonymous surveys to assess what areas need improvement. Companies could hold talk-back sessions with dancers to open up the lines of communication about what's working and what's not. We need to make it acceptable for dancers to take care of their mental health. We need to stop training dancers (explicitly and implicitly) to hide their anxiety for fear of losing performance opportunities.

It is time to begin the conversation, because I worry about the ongoing suffering of dancers if this is not addres­sed. I worry that company leadership will continue to view my very real struggles with my mental health as a weakness. Most of all, I worry that the next generation of artists will continue to suffer as too many of their predecessors have.