New York-based actress, Nikki Crawford, has had a stellar career in stage, t.v. and film roles. Tonight, June 11, at the United Palace Washington Heights, in upper Manhattan New York, she competes for a Tony Award, the highest honor given in the world of Broadway. Crawford is a nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play just weeks after making her Broadway debut as Tedra, the matriarch in the family of the award-winning Broadway play, Fat Ham, a contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet set at a Southern family barbecue. The play, written by playwright, James Ijames, was named winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Crawford’s honor is one of five nominations for Tonys, including Best Play.
Crawford portrays Tedra, that ’round-the-way girl grown up. Tedra is loud and likes her shorts, short. She’s outspoken, and unapologetically a Black woman with a dubious past. She is a real mama and loves her complex son, Juicy (Marcel Spears), but creates drama by recently marrying the brother of her recently deceased husband. Despite the stereotypes, Crawford doesn’t want Tedra to be judged. “I wanted to bring the teacher’s humanity to this character because it’s very easy to judge her because of how she dresses, how she speaks, the choices she makes in regard to her son, and the men she’s chosen in her life,” said Crawford in an interview with broadwayworld.com. “But I think because of Jame’s writing and what I, as an actor, am bringing to the role, people are seeing similarities in themselves. Initially, they want to judge but, then it’s like, ‘Oh, hold up, I’m just like her.'”
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Crawford is an award-winning actress, singer, and dancer. She received her B.F.A. from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University Drama program. Upon graduation, she was offered a leading role in the European tour Bubbling Brown Sugar. Some of her past work on stage include The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (The Steppenwolf); Fat Ham (The Public Theater); and Man of La Mancha. In TV, some of her work includes Lifetime: “A Country Christmas Harmony,” “NCIS LA,” “9-1-1,” “NCIS,” “Selena: The Series,” “United States of Al,” “Criminal Minds,” “PBS Great Performances: Play On!”