Ali Stroker makes history as first person in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award
Ali Stroker made history by becoming the very first person in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award, the most coveted accolade in musical theatre, at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards on Sunday night.
It was at the prestigious ceremony that the up-and-coming performer was awarded the Tony for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical.
Relive the moving moment Ali Stroker made history as the first person in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award:
Stroker had been nominated for her role as Ado Annie in the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!
In fact, she was still backstage, moments after performing one the Oklahoma! songs, I Cain't Say No, when the nominees in her category were announced.
The 31-year-old actress - also known for being a finalist on the second season of The Glee Project back in 2012 - received a standing ovation when her win was announced. She then moved the audience with a heartfelt acceptance speech in which she reached out to other aspiring performers with disabilities or "limitations".
"This award is for every kid who is watching tonight who has a disability, who has a limitation or a challenge, who has been waiting to see themselves represented in this arena ... You are."
The New Jersey native then thanked her Oklahoma! "family," her real-life family and her friends for their support, adding that they "held my hands and pulled me around New York City for years helping me".
At the age of two, Stroker had been severely injured in a car accident, which left her paralysed from the chest down
She later told reporters that Broadway theatres are usually accessible to audience members with disabilities, whereas backstage areas are generally not.
"I would ask theatre owners and producers to really look into how they can begin to make the backstage accessible so that performers with disabilities can get around," she said.