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First Tonys

Tony Award Nominees Who Made Their Broadway Debuts This Season

This Broadway season featured many stars we know and love, many of them Tony Award winners up for another prize this year, but the amount of new Broadway talent discovered this year is grand. Here’s a look at the Broadway debuts this season that went on to be nominated for the highest honor in American theater.


Alfie Allen, Hangmen

Alfie Allen in Hangmen. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Alfie Allen in Hangmen. Photo by Joan Marcus.

You may know him from his Emmy-nominated performance on Game of Thrones, but Alfie Allen is now a certified Broadway actor. Allen made his Broadway debut this season in Hangmen, which opened at the Golden Theatre in April 2022. For his work as the mysterious Mooney, he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.


Gabby Beans, The Skin of Our Teeth

Gabby Beans in The Skin of Our Teeth. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Gabby Beans in The Skin of Our Teeth. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

With many New York credits to her name, including previous experience working with Tony Award-nominated director Lileana Blain-Cruz, Gabby Beans made her Broadway debut this year as Sabina in Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of The Skin of Our Teeth. Beans had audiences in the palm of her hand and received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.


Sharon D Clarke, Caroline, or Change

Sharon D Clarke in Caroline, or Change. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Sharon D Clarke in Caroline, or Change. Photo by Joan Marcus.

While Clarke is certainly no stranger to the stage with three Olivier Awards for her work on London’s West End, Caroline, or Change marked her Broadway debut when it opened at Studio 54 in October 2021. Clarke took Broadway by storm, getting rave reviews for her performance as Caroline Thibodeaux and earning a 2022 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Hot off her debut, Clarke will return to Broadway next season, reprising her Olivier Award-winning performance in the acclaimed revival of Death of a Salesman.


Rachel Dratch, POTUS

Rachel Dratch in POTUS. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Rachel Dratch in POTUS. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Audiences love her from Saturday Night Live for her iconic characters like Debbie Downer and Broadway audiences love her just the same. Rachel Dratch is now on Broadway making her debut in the hilarious POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive as Stephanie. Dratch has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for her hysterical work in her Broadway debut.


Myles Frost, MJ

Myles Frost in MJ. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Myles Frost in MJ. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

He is the talk of the town for the stunning way he fills the shoes of the King of Pop. Myles Frost plays the titular icon in MJ, bringing his iconic songs and moves to the stage, all at the age of 22 with his Broadway debut. For his stellar performance, he has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, holding his own alongside entertainment legends like Billy Crystal and Hugh Jackman.


L Morgan Lee, A Strange Loop

L Morgan Lee in A Strange Loop. Photo by Marc J. Franklin.
L Morgan Lee in A Strange Loop. Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

Obie Award winner L Morgan Lee made her Broadway debut this season, performing as Thought 1 in the most Tony Award-nominated show of the season, A Strange Loop. For her first Broadway show, she has received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. Of the many firsts, Lee is also the first openly transgender performer to be nominated for a Tony Award.


Adrian Lester, The Lehman Trilogy

Adrian Lester in The Lehman Trilogy. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Adrian Lester in The Lehman Trilogy. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Olivier Award winner Adrian Lester made the jump across the pond this season to the Nederlander Theatre to star in The Lehman Trilogy. Lester’s performance in the play marked his Broadway debut and has been recognized with a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play.


John-Andrew Morrison, A Strange Loop

John-Andrew Morrison in A Strange Loop.
John-Andrew Morrison in A Strange Loop.

The recipient of a Lucille Lortel and an Obie Award for his performance in the Off-Broadway premiere, John-Andrew Morrison made his Broadway debut this season in A Strange Loop. Morrison stops the show with the song “Periodically” and for his performance has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical at this year’s Tonys.


Ruth Negga, Macbeth

Ruth Negga in Macbeth. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Ruth Negga in Macbeth. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga treads the boards for the first time this season, playing Lady Macbeth opposite Daniel Craig in Macbeth. For her radiant work as one of the most classic female roles, Negga, in her Broadway debut, has received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.


Jaquel Spivey, A Strange Loop

Jaquel Spivey in A Strange Loop. Photo by Marc J. Franklin
Jaquel Spivey in A Strange Loop. Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Making a splash in his Broadway debut, Jaquel Spivey currently stars as Usher, the protagonist of A Strange Loop. Along with the ensemble of Thoughts, Spivey commands the stage in this “big, Black, queer-ass American Broadway show,” and for his astonishing performance has received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.


Jesse Williams, Take Me Out

Jesse Williams in <em>Take Me Out </em>. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Jesse Williams in Take Me Out. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Known for spending 12 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, Jesse Williams made his much-talked-about Broadway debut this spring in the revival Take Me Out. For his work, Williams has received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, nominated alongside his castmates Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Michael Oberholtzer.


Kara Young, Clyde’s

Kara Young in Clyde's. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Kara Young in Clyde’s. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Making her Broadway debut opposite beloved actors Uzo Aduba and Ron Cephas Jones, Kara Young shined as Letitia in Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s. For her memorable performance, Young received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play.


Get a look at all of this year’s Tony Award nominees here. As previously announced, Academy Award winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose will host The 75th Annual Tony Awards, airing live coast-to-coast (8 – 11 p.m. LIVE EST/5 – 8 p.m. PST) on the CBS Television Network, and streaming live and on demand on Paramount+. Check Broadway Direct all month long for all things Tony Awards.