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DDN: Tony-winning WSU grad could win again Sunday night

Joey Monda with Joe Deer

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

Sunday’s 74th annual Tony Awards, honoring the achievements of Broadway’s shortened 2019-2020 season, could prove big once again for Wright State University musical theater graduate Joey Monda of Sing Out, Louise! Productions.

The Youngstown native and Tony-winning producer of the 2019 Best Musical “Hadestown” is a double nominee for producing Best Play contenders “Slave Play” (12 nominations, the most ever for a play) and “The Inheritance” (11 nominations).

Jeremy O. Harris’ controversial, thought-provoking “Slave Play” spotlights race and sex in America. Using a plantation as a backdrop, but firmly planted in contemporary anxieties and polarization, Harris throws expectations out the window while compellingly exploring the complexities of interracial romance.

Written by Matthew Lopez and inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel “Howards End,” “The Inheritance” is an epic tale addressing the desires, pitfalls, complications, and tragedies within New York City’s gay community circa 2015 to 2018. A modern companion to Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” in tone and scope, “The Inheritance” notably received the Olivier Award for its London premiere in 2018.

“Both plays speak to the importance of diversity and telling diverse stories on Broadway,” said Monda, 31. “I think ‘Slave Play’ is probably in a better position to win right now because it’s part of a national conversation (on race). And a Black playwright hasn’t won the Best Play Tony since August Wilson for ‘Fences’ so a win for ‘Slave Play’ would be a big statement.”