KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 15, 2020 – Andrew Burnap ’13 has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor for his leading role in the hit Broadway play “The Inheritance,” which garnered 11 nominations, including for Best Play, as nominees were announced Thursday.
Burnap, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Yale School of Drama, originated the role of Toby Darling in Matthew Lopez’s “The Inheritance,” which opened March 2018 in London’s Young Vic Theatre and continued at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. The play, with Burnap reprising his role, debuted on Broadway in November 2019, closing this past March, after 46 previews and 134 regular performances.
“To say that I am filled to the brim with love and gratitude would be a tragic understatement,” said Burnap in an email about being nominated. “It feels quite odd to be celebrating just about anything right now, while we’re seemingly surrounded by such pain and uncertainty everywhere we look; yet I must confess, it is a welcome, wonderful surprise in a time that feels bereft of wonder.
“If anything, this incredible recognition reminds me that the innately human need to create, to make something of nothing, to birth a new consciousness into being, remains desperately aflame,” he added. “In fact, it burns brighter than ever before. I stand on the shoulders of giants, and URI Theatre is certainly one of those pillars on which I have found some footing. I am forever in the debt of those who have guided me towards the flame.”
Burnap, 28, who grew up in South Kingstown, R.I., won the part of Toby after appearing in Lopez’s “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” during which he impressed the playwright. According to a 2018 New York Times profile, Lopez called Burnap “one of the most exciting young actors I’d ever encountered.”
For the Tony’s Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play award, Burnap goes up against a handful of veterans – Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge, both of “Sea Wall/A Life,” Ian Barford of “Linda Vista,” Tom Hiddleston of “Betrayal,” and Blair Underwood of “A Soldier’s Play.” The 74th Tony Awards presentations will take place digitally this fall or winter, according to the Tony Awards website.
Besides appearing in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” in Los Angeles, Burnap, who is teaching acting this semester in the URI Theatre Department, made his New York professional debut as Troilus in “Troilus and Cressida” in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater in 2016.
“This semester, the department is fortunate to have Andrew as an instructor teaching THE111-Introduction to Acting,” said David Howard, URI department chair. “We couldn’t be more excited for him and for those lucky first-year students who can now say that their professor is a Tony nominee!”
The London production of “The Inheritance” won Best Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and Best New Play and Best Director for Stephen Daldry at both the Critics’ Circle Awards and the Laurence Olivier Awards. The Broadway production has garnered Drama Desk, Drama League and GLAAD Media awards.