In case you missed the Tony Awards on Sunday, history was made as Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron became the first female writing team to win both the Best Score and Best Book for a musical in a Broadway season. To put it into perspective, the Tonys have been around since 1947, and it’s 2015. Yes, that’s 68 previous years in which women are practically non-existent in most of the creative and design categories. But Fun Home helped change that.
Tesori put it succinctly during her acceptance speech when she said, “I didn’t realize that a career in music was available to women until 1981 — I saw the magnificent Linda Twine conduct A Lady and Her Music: Lena Horne (sic). And that was my ‘Ring of Keys’ moment, which, by the way, is not a song of love but a song of identification because, for girls, you have to see it to be it.”
This is absolutely true! In order for girls to want to be the creators of musicals — and plays, and operas, and symphonies, and televisions, and films, girls have to see themselves reflected in the works they see produced. We need more women as writers, composers, directors, designers, and producers who are creating art from the perspective of women instead of women being presented in art through the filter of men’s perception of us.
Congratulations to Tesori and Kron, and I hope seeing their accomplishments will encourage girls to want to work at the proverbial drawing board not just in the spotlight on stage.
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