Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mind behind Broadway juggernaut Hamilton, used his acceptance speech to pay a moving tribute to Orlando.
Presented with the Tony for Best Original Score, the man responsible for Broadway’s biggest ticket moved the audience to tears with his acceptance speech, presented in the form of a sonnet.
Starting out with thanks to his wife, calling her a ‘perfect symphony of one’, Miranda soon turned his attention to what happened in the Orlando attack on Pulse nightclub, which left 50 dead and 53 injured.
‘When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day,’ Miranda started.
‘This show is proof that history remembers
We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;
We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story
Now fill the world with music, love and pride.’
His own voice broke during the rendition, and cameras throughout showed fellow actors, producers and musicians not just struggling with their own emotion, but breaking into spontaneous applause mid-speech.
On the night, the Hamilton cast also performed Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down), one of the show’s key numbers.
Showing the battle of Yorktown, the song usually features the actors wielding muskets, but the cast decided to forego the weapons in light of the Orlando events – a decision praised by the theater community.
Hamilton, which was nominated for 16 Tony Awards in 13 categories, clocked 11 wins, narrowly missing the record of 12.
Watch the full speech below: