Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for direction for her movie based on Iraq war drama, “The Hurt Locker”, in 2009.
However this year’s Tony Awards took it further by handing out its best directing awards to two women namely Pam MacKinnon for Edward Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” and Diane Paulus for her elaborately staged musical “Pippin.”
The reigning feminine power achieved new heights in theater this year with Cyndi Lauper becoming the first solo woman to win a Tony for score, in the best musical award winner “Kinky Boots.”
“We’re hitting our stride, absolutely,” said MacKinnon in recognition of all her fellow women in the theater.
Even Lauper also echoed that sentiment after she won: “I guess I’m the first woman, so maybe I’d do it for my mother and my grandmother who could not have careers. And for all the women that’ll follow me, because there’ll be lots of them.”
This was the second time in Tony’s history that two women have won best direction awards. MacKinnon also recalled the 1998 Tony Awards, when both Julie Taymor and Garry Hynes won best direction awards for “The Lion King” and “The Beauty Queen of Leenane,” respectively. In the year 1998 it was the first time when two women ended up winning both directing prizes at Tonys, and also was the first time when a woman had won in either of the categories.
“That was the June that I moved to New York, so very exciting to be a part of that,” MacKinnon said.
MacKinnon and Paulus have become fourth and fifth women to achieve this feat at Tonys. Susan Stroman won the best direction Tony in 2001 for “The Producers.”