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Kenny Leon Invokes Breonna Taylor And George Floyd In Moving Tony Awards Speech

The ‘Soldier’s Play’ director tells the industry, “we can do better.”

A Soldier’s Play took home the trophy for Best Revival of a Play Sunday (September 26) at the 74th Annual Tony Awards.

According to The New York Times, in 1982, Charles Fuller became only the second African American awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, for A Soldier’s Play. It dramatizes the murder of a Black sergeant and the investigation of his death by a Black officer at a segregated Louisiana military base in 1944.

The artistic director and CEO Todd Haimes and the play’s director Kenny Leon accepted the Tony.

In his acceptance speech, Leon, a Clark Atlanta University graduate, delivered one of the night’s most moving moments.

Breonna Taylor,” he said three consecutive times.

George Floyd,” Leon continued, followed by a dramatic pause. “We can do better,” he told the audience.

“No diss,” to legendary white playwrights William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen or Anton Chekhov, Leon said.

“They are all at the table but the table has got to be bigger,” he said, adding that “We need to hear all of the stories,” underscoring the need on Broadway for inclusion.

RELATED: David Alan Grier Hilariously Shouts Out Audra McDonald During Tony's Acceptance Speech

Earlier, on Broadway’s biggest night, David Alan Grier won his first Tony for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for his role in A Soldier’s Play, which is slated for adaptation into a limited TV series with Grier starring in the show and serving as its executive producer.

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