Wright State grad wins Tony for producing ‘The Inheritance’

Two-time Tony winner Joey Monda with Joe Deer, Artistic Director of Wright State University's Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Two-time Tony winner Joey Monda with Joe Deer, Artistic Director of Wright State University's Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. CONTRIBUTED

“It feels remarkable,” said two-time Tony winner Joey Monda.

Wright State University musical theatre graduate Joey Monda of Sing Out, Louise! Productions won his second Tony Award Sunday. He was one of the producers of Matthew Lopez’s gay-themed drama “The Inheritance,” named Best Play at the Tony Awards.

Wright State University graduate Joey Monda of Sing Out, Louise! Productions produced the 2019 Tony Award-winning musical "Hadestown." He received two nominations this year as producer of Best Play nominees "The Inheritance" and "Slave Play." CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Caption
Wright State University graduate Joey Monda of Sing Out, Louise! Productions produced the 2019 Tony Award-winning musical "Hadestown." He received two nominations this year as producer of Best Play nominees "The Inheritance" and "Slave Play." (Contributed photo)

Inspired by E.M. Forster’s “Howards End,” “The Inheritance” addresses the desires, pitfalls, complications, and tragedies within New York City’s gay community circa 2015 to 2018. A close circle of friends is put to the test when budding playwright Toby Darling (Tony winner Andrew Burnap) and his activist-boyfriend Eric Glass (Kyle Soller) breakup and enter new relationships. As matters of love challenge and evolve, the characters become effective catalysts particularly questioning the responsibility of gay men to gay culture, especially for a generation without significant knowledge of gay icons or the AIDS epidemic.

Andrew Burnap accepts the Tony Award for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for his performance in “The Inheritance,” at the 74th Annual Tony Awards in at the Winter Garden Theatre New York on Sunday night, Sept. 26, 2021. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)
Caption
Andrew Burnap accepts the Tony Award for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play for his performance in “The Inheritance,” at the 74th Annual Tony Awards in at the Winter Garden Theatre New York on Sunday night, Sept. 26, 2021. (Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

For example, over brunch with his friends leading to flavorful discussion about the kitschy nature of camp and Sean Penn winning an Academy Award for portraying Harvey Milk, Eric ponders the future of the gay community and gay identity:

“American students are taught nothing about the famous queers throughout history. All my life I was taught the Shoah but it wasn’t until I was in college and saw a student production of ‘Bent’ that I learned they threw queers in the gas chambers, too. Kids aren’t taught about Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin, Stonewall, the Plague Years. And yet Tristan’s 14-year-old niece knows ‘Yas Queen’ because of ‘Broad City.’ It feels like we’re getting stripped for parts and the inside is hollowing out. It honestly feels like the community that I came up in is slowly fading away.”

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. In addition to Tonys for Best Play and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, the production won for Best Direction of a Play (Stephen Daldry) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Lois Smith).

This image released by Polk & Co. shows Kyle Soller, from left, Paul Hilton, and John Benjamin Hickey in "The Inheritance." (Matthew Murphy/Polk & Co. via AP)
Caption
This image released by Polk & Co. shows Kyle Soller, from left, Paul Hilton, and John Benjamin Hickey in "The Inheritance." (Matthew Murphy/Polk & Co. via AP)

Credit: Matthew Murphy

Credit: Matthew Murphy

“It feels remarkable,” said Monda on his second Tony win. “So happy for Matthew, Stephen, Andrew and Lois.”

The Youngstown native, who earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in 2012, previously won a Tony for producing the 2019 Best Musical “Hadestown.” He was also nominated this year for producing Jeremy O. Harris’ racial drama “Slave Play,” which will return to Broadway in November.