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The Ensemblist is an inside look at the experience of being a Broadway performer- from the first rehearsal through performing eight shows a week and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced theatre professional or a passionate fan, The Ensemblist will give you the opportunity to get to know new performers and the great work they do onstage, while also shedding light on some of the hidden innerworkings of the Broadway experience. Created and hosted by Mo Brady (The Addams Family, SMASH) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Chicago, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), The Ensemblist is the only podcast that shows you Broadway from the inside out. 

Blog

“Best Actors Not Eligible for a Tony Award This Season"

Mo Brady

by Mo Brady

On Sunday, June 10, many of Broadway’s most talented artists will be celebrated at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards. From producers to sound designers, the nominees and winners for this year’s 26 categories will get the opportunity to be celebrated by a wider audience or industry professionals and theatre fans. One group of artists that won’t receive recognition that Sunday ae ensemble actors. While they will be onstage performing with their nominated shows, they will not be able to step out and celebrated for their achievements.  

Actors’ Equity Association’s #EveryoneOnStage campaign is trying to change that by petitioning for the creation of two new categories for the 2019 season—Best Chorus in a Musical or Play, and Best Ensemble in a Musical or Play.

In the spirit of “Everyone On Stage” these would be our nominees for “Best Actors Not Eligible for a Tony Award This Season."

 Matt Allen

Matt Allen

Matt Allen - Escape to Margaritaville

A Gypsy Robe recipient, Matt Allen has performed in Broadway ensembles for almost two decades. From Honeymoon in Vegas to Something Rotten!, Allen has shown a presence and precision of movement that is virtually unparalleled on Broadway. This season, he uses his smooth, sophisticated stage presence to cut fast and loose as one of the island-loving vacationers in Escape to Margaritaville.

 Benjamin Cook

Benjamin Cook

Benjamin Cook - Mean Girls

Nobody on Broadway moves with as much unbridled energy as Ben Cook. When he dances, it’s us if every limb is working in harmony, transmitting the choreographic intention not only from his core but from his guts. In what has become his calling card, Cook flawlessly executes the high-octane choreography of Mean Girls with reliability, slaying from “It Roars” to “Apex Predator.”

 Jai'Len Christine Li Josey

Jai'Len Christine Li Josey

Jai'Len Christine Li Josey - SpongeBob SquarePants

If anyone has made a stunning Broadway debut this season, it has to be Jai'Len Christine Li Josey. Her performance as Pearl Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most exhilarating performances currently on Broadway. She plays both emotional desperation and unadulterated joy in perfect tune with the production’s energetic sensibility. Most notably, she makes her Act I duet “Daddy Knows Better” a showstopping tour de force.   

 Wonu Ogunfowora

Wonu Ogunfowora

Wonu Ogunfowora - Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

The ensemble of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical features more than a dozen fiercely talented woman. From belting pop anthems to executing dynamic choreography, this company commands audiences to lean forward and celebrate the life of Donna Summer with unmitigated passion. Forefront in this effort is Wonu Ogunfowora, who brings grit and strength to her movement, as well as a refreshing simplicity to her scene work as Young Mary Ellen and Brooklyn.

 Ann Sanders

Ann Sanders

Ann Sanders - Frozen

A successful ensemblist performance isn’t always about slick vocals for technical dance moves. Sometimes, it’s about endowing a character with depth not found in the script. Ann Sanders’ portrayal of Queen Iduna in Frozen is filled with warmth and heart, catapulting the emotional longing of both Elsa and Anna into the show’s processings. A Broadway veteran who made her debut in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the ease with which Sanders commands a stage is impressive and cherishable.