Tony Awards: ‘Six’ Co-Creator Toby Marlow Becomes First Nonbinary Composer-Lyricist to Win Best Score

Tony Awards: ‘Six’ Co-Creator Toby Marlow Becomes First Nonbinary Composer-Lyricist to Win Best Score

Toby Marlow, the Six: The Musical co-creator, was among the night’s historic winners during the 2022 Tony Awards held Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall.

Marlow took this win during the Tony Awards’ first-hour special, Act One, marking a significant moment for inclusion and diversity on Broadway by becoming the first openly nonbinary composer-lyricist in the show’s history to win for best original score.

In the Tonys press room, he celebrated LGBTQ representation on Broadway’s stages during the 2021-2022 season. “It just feels really amazing to be part of a season where there’s so much queerness on stage explicitly,” Marlow said, while noting that with more queer people coming to Broadway, it will be reflected more. “Representation is pretty fab.” 

While accepting his win for best book for a musical, Michael R. Jackson celebrated Black gay representation and also encouraged artists to “stay on their grind,” adding that “in our hearts we’re doing the very best work we can do.”

“I started writing this miracle when I was 23 years old. I’m 41 years. I am old as hell. I brought it from the old lady’s house in the middle of Queens. I wrote it at a time when I didn’t know what I was going to do with my leg. I didn’t know how to move forward. I felt unseen. I felt unheard. I felt misunderstood,” he said about his creative process. “I just wanted to create a little bit of a life raft for myself as a Black gay man to just get through the day.”

Many of the night’s history-makers were also among its nominees. The Skin of Our Teeth scenic designer Adam Rigg is the first openly agender designer nominated in the best scenic design in a musical category. A Strange Loop star L. Morgan Lee also marks the first openly transgender performer to be nominated for a Tony, having been honored in the best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical category.

The Skin of Our Teeth director Lileana Blain-Cruz and For Colored Girls director-choreographer Camille A. Brown also became the second and third Black women to ever be nominated for best direction of a play after Danai Gurira, who became the first Black woman and woman of color to be nominated in 2016 for Eclipsed.

Lynn Nottage — the first and only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize twice — also retains the honor of being the first playwright nominated for penning a play and a musical in the same season, with Clyde’s as best play and MJ for best book of a musical

Read More