Tony Awards 2024: Daniel Radcliffe and Irish lighting designer Jane Cox among the winners

Cox, who is based in the United States, won the award for her work on Appropriate

Jane Cox accepting the Tony Award for best lighting design of a play for her work on Appropriate. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Jane Cox, a lighting designer from Ireland who is based in the United States, won best lighting design of a play at the Tony Awards on Sunday night for her work on Appropriate on Broadway.

The darkly comic American family drama also won best revival of a play for Pulitzer finalist, writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and best performance by a leading actress for Emmy and Golden Globe winner Sarah Paulson.

This weekend’s award was Cox’s first Tony win and fourth Tony nomination for best lighting design. On Appropriate she worked with an all-women lighting team.

Cox, based in Princeton, New Jersey, has been a theatre-maker for 30 years. She designs lighting for theatre, opera, dance and music, and is also an educator, producer and arts administrator.


Raised in Dublin, where her mother ran Amnesty International, Cox moved to England to study classical flute at the University of London, but was drawn to the theatre department there, and her career changed course. In the US she studied at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and was awarded an Master of Fine Arts in lighting from New York University.

Cox is now director of Princeton’s programme in theatre and music theatre, and also works on productions in New York and internationally. Her most recent work in Irish theatre was lighting design for the Abbey Theatre’s November 2022 production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir, directed by Caitríona McLaughlin.

Also successful at the awards was The Outsiders, a muscular musical based on the classic young adult novel, which won best new musical, while Stereophonic, a behind-the music play about a band making an album, was named best new play.

'You can ruin something with bad lighting': Jane Cox the subtle art of theatrical illuminationOpens in new window ]

Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along completed a four-decade journey from flop to hit by winning the best musical revival prize, while Appropriate, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ family drama about a trio of siblings confronting an unsettling secret, won best play revival.

Here are the highlights of the 77th Tony Awards ceremony, which took place at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and was hosted by Ariana DeBose:

Best new musical

Tony Awards 2024: A staged brawl during a performance of the musical The Outsiders. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

The Outsiders won in an upset over Hell’s Kitchen, a musical powered by Alicia Keys songs and inspired by her life. The Outsiders is gritty, bloody and relentlessly youthful, and features some of the most effectively vivid violence seen on a Broadway stage. The show’s director, Danya Taymor, also won, and the show picked up prizes for sound and lighting. Hell’s Kitchen won two performance prizes for its young star, Maleah Joi Moon, and a featured performer, Kecia Lewis.

Best new play

Tony Awards 2024: The cast of Stereophonic during a performance on Sunday night. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Stereophonic, by David Adjmi, takes place in the 1970s in a pair of California recording studios. The play, which won more prizes than any of the musicals, also picked up prizes for its director, Daniel Aukin, as well as for a featured actor, Will Brill, plus sound and scenic design.

Best musical revival

Tony Awards 2024: Daniel Radcliffe accepting the Tony for featured actor in a musical for his role in Merrily We Roll Along. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Merrily We Roll Along, one of Broadway’s most storied flops, cemented its status as one of Sondheim’s masterworks. The show’s leading actor, Jonathan Groff, and its featured actor, Daniel Radcliffe, both won their first Tony Awards in a production that is thriving amid a surge in interest in the work of Sondheim, an acclaimed composer and lyricist who died in 2021. “This is proof that what you had then was indeed a masterpiece,” the lead producer, Sonia Friedman, said, addressing those from the original production. And her sister, the musical’s director, Maria Friedman, addressed the spirits of Sondheim and the show’s book writer, George Furth, saying, “Steve and George: ‘Merrily’ is popular!”

Best revival of a play

Tony Awards 2024: Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and the cast, crew and producers of Appropriate accepting the award for best revival of a play. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins has long been seen as one of the best among a new generation of American playwrights, but Appropriate is his first work to make it to Broadway. In his acceptance speech, he said that he spent years being told he was “too risky, too provocative and too not commercial enough”.

Starry night

Tony Awards 2024: Hillary Clinton introducing a performance by the company of Suffs. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times

The awards ceremony featured a lot of familiar faces. A pair of celebrity co-producers introduced the shows they are working on: Hillary Clinton with the new musical Suffs, and Angelina Jolie with The Outsiders. Jay-Z joined Keys for a rendition of Empire State of Mind as part of a Hell’s Kitchen medley. Eddie Redmayne led a performance by the cast of a Cabaret revival, while Pete Townshend joined the cast of a revival of The Who’s Tommy for a bit of Pinball Wizard. Brooke Shields, who was recently elected president of Actors’ Equity Association, a labour union representing performers and stage managers, introduced an In Memoriam segment.

2024 Tony Award winners

Tony Awards 2024: The company of The Outsiders performing a number during ceremony on Sunday. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/New York Times
  • Best new play – Stereophonic
  • Best new musical – The Outsiders
  • Best play revival – Appropriate
  • Best musical revival – Merrily We Roll Along
  • Best book of a musical – Shaina Taub, Suffs
  • Best leading actor in a play – Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People
  • Best leading actress in a play – Sarah Paulson, Appropriate
  • Best leading actor in a musical – Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along
  • Best leading actress in a musical – Maleah Joi Moon, Hell’s Kitchen
  • Best featured actor in a play – Will Brill, Stereophonic
  • Best featured actor in a musical – Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along
  • Best featured actress in a play – Kara Young, Purlie Victorious
  • Best featured actress in a musical – Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen
  • Best direction of a play – Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic
  • Best direction of a musical – Danya Taymor, The Outsiders
  • Best scenic design of a play – David Zinn, Stereophonic
  • Best scenic design of a musical – Tom Scutt, Cabaret
  • Best costume design of a play – Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
  • Best costume design of a musical – Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby
  • Best lighting design of a play – Jane Cox, Appropriate
  • Best lighting design of a musical – Brian MacDevitt and Hana S Kim, The Outsiders
  • Best Sound Design of a play – Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic
  • Best Sound Design of a musical – Cody Spencer, The Outsiders
  • Best Original Score – Shaina Taub, Suffs
  • Best Choreography – Justin Peck, Illinoise
  • Best Orchestrations – Jonathan Tunick, Merrily We Roll Along
  • Isabelle Stevenson Award – Billy Porter
  • Regional Theater Tony Award – The Wilma Theater
  • Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education – CJay Philip, Dance & Bmore
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Jack O’Brien
  • George C Wolfe
2024 Special Tony Award
  • Alex Edelman
  • Abe Jacob
  • Nikiya Mathis
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theater
  • Wendall K Harrington
  • Dramatists Guild Foundation
  • The Samuel J Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts
  • Colleen Jennings-Roggensack
  • Judith O Rubin

– This article originally appeared in the New York Times

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey is a features and arts writer at The Irish Times