Oscar winner and daughter of New Bern High School graduate to host Tony awards

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ariana DeBose, who studied dance as a child in New Bern, is adding another major accomplishment to her resume.

The Oscar-winning actress will host the 2022 Tony Awards set to June 12, according to a news release from The Broadway League and the American Theater Wing. The live broadcast, which recognizes the best of Broadway, is expected to last three hours.

In January, DeBose won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of “West Side Story.” She also earned a British Academy Film Award, a Critics' Choice Movie Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same role.

The role in the 1961 film version of "West Side Story" was originally played by actress Rita Moreno, who also earned an Oscar for her performance.

DeBose was a past nominee for the coveted Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 2018 for her role in “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.”

The actress made history by becoming the first openly queer Afro-Latina person to win an acting Oscar.

More: Why Ariana DeBose's Oscar win is a major victory and her connection to New Bern

Gina DeBose, a graduate of New Bern High School is pictured with her Oscar-winner daughter Ariana DeBose.
Gina DeBose, a graduate of New Bern High School is pictured with her Oscar-winner daughter Ariana DeBose.

"Now you see why, that Anita says, 'I want to be in America,' because even in this weary world that we live in, dreams do come true," DeBose said in her Oscar acceptance speech. "And that's really a heartening thing right now."

The nominations of Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) and DeBose was the first time that two openly LGBTQ actors have been nominated in the same year.

Debose spent many years dancing at The Dance Theatre of New Bern under the instruction of owner Dorrie Lydem Benners.

In a previous Sun Journal article, Benners said that DeBose was always a serious student.

Ariana DeBose is the daughter of Gina DeBose, a 1986 graduate of New Bern High School. Gina DeBose now resides in Raleigh and is an eighth-grade social studies teacher in the Wake County Public School System.

Reporter Tina Adkins can be reached at tina.adkins@newbernsj.com.

This article originally appeared on Sun Journal: Oscar winner, LGBTQ actress, Ariana Debose to host annual Tony Awards