The day of the Tony Award nominations is always a thrilling for the New York theatre community because its a chance to see our own celebrated and championed for a wider audience. Here at The Ensemblist, we have a special place in our hearts for the nominated actors who have worked in Broadway ensembles. While leading and supporting roles are no more challenging or worthy of praise, it’s thrilling to see these ensemblists be recognized for their fantastic work this season.
Nominated for her role as Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Ariana has performed in six Broadway shows in the last seven years. Her varied roles include an ensemblist in Pippin and to originating the role of Jane in A Bronx Tale. But perhaps her most famous ensemblist role is creating the part of the Bullet in the original company of Hamilton.
While one of Broadway’s most in-demand leading men, Joshua made his Broadway debut as an ensemblist in In The Heights. After originating the role of Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys, he went back to his ensemblist roots in the original company of American Idiot (where he played the role of “Favorite Son.” Joshua's additional Broadway credits include Porgy and Bess, Violet, Shuffle Along and this season's Carousel.
A Tony Award winner for the original production of The Color Purple, LaChanze made her Broadway debut in the original company of Dreamgirls. In the show, her track included stepout features as a Stepp Sister and Les Style performer, as well as understudying the roles of Michelle and Deena. Since then, she has appeared seven additional Broadway shows, including Once On This Island, Ragtime, If/Then and this season's Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
Nominated for her leading role of Dina in The Band's Visit, Katrina made her Broadway debut as an understudy in the 2010 revival The Miracle Worker. Since then, she was a replacement in the ensemble of Broadway's Once and a part of the ensemble cast in last season's Indecent.
Nominated for her role as Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls, Ashley made her Broadway debut five years ago in the ensemble of Mamma Mia!, where she also understudied the role of Ali. Just last season, Ashley played one of the Celestes in the Jake Gyllenhaal-led Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George as well as understudying the leading role of Dot/Marie.