Salina Native Nominated For Tony Award

A Salina native has been nominated for a prestigious Tony Award. The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre.

Tony Award nominations were announced Monday, and among the nominees is Salina South graduate Nathan Tysen.

Tysen, and co-contributors Jason Howland and Masi Asare, were nominated in the “Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre” category.

The trio were nominated for “Paradise Square”.  The musical is set in New York, 1863. As the Civil War rages on, free Blacks and Irish immigrants live and love together in the unlikeliest of neighborhoods- the dangerous streets and crumbling tenement houses of Lower Manhattan’s notorious Five Points slum. Within this galvanizing story of racial harmony undone by a country at war with itself, we meet the denizens of a local saloon called Paradise Square. These characters include the indomitable Black woman who owns it; her Irish-Catholic sister-in-law and her Black minister husband; a conflicted newly arrived Irish immigrant; a fearless freedom seeker; an anti-abolitionist political boss; and a penniless songwriter trying to capture it all. They have conflicting notions of what it means to be an American while living through one of the most tumultuous eras in our country’s history. “Paradise Square” depicts an overlooked true-life moment when hope and possibility shone bright.

“Paradise Square” received a total of 10 Tony nominations.

Tysen is a graduate of Salina South, and though he lives in New York, is still active in the Salina theatre scene as well. Over the past several years he has helped with the “305 Live” fund raising show. In 2020 the original musical “Dreamland” written by Tysen and Chris Miller had its world premiere in Salina featuring Salina South drama students.

The 75th annual Tony Award ceremony is set for June 12th at Radio City Music Hall in New York.