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Tony-nominated Actress has Belizean Roots

New York-born actress, Kara Young is nominated for a Tony award. Young, whose parents are Belizean, received her nod for playing “Leticia” (le-tisha) in the play “Clyde’s”, penned by Lynn Nottage. The play as well Young and her co-stars have been generating a lot of buzz through this year’s theatre season. We spoke to Young today about the nomination in a place where her father worked for thirty years. 

Kara Young, Tony-nominated actress, “Clyde’s”: “I feel like every single time I’m asked this question it evolves and at the current moment, right now, it still feels very surreal and I am, the other day. The other day I felt like, that I really, it was just a magical moment around, around this nomination. We were at the Tony’s luncheon at the Rainbow Room and my father works at the Rainbow Room and there’s no plus ones and my father was there and as they were going down the list of nominees per category, they get to my name and they’re handing me a plaque and the gentleman, Emilio Sosa, who named me as one of the nominees, he also shared when he got there for rehearsal that this gentleman was there beaming with pride saying that his daughter was nominated for a Tony and he named my father and my father came out and the entire room gave my father a standing ovation and there was a moment that was like, it was a full circle moment but it was like a New York moment. But, it was just like one of those moments where the New York Times just wrote an article. Michael Colson just wrote an article on that moment in particular and Lyn Nottage said that it was such a beautiful moment to know that this man has worked here, worked so hard to now celebrate his daughter in the same place as his work was a moment that we all were feeling.”  

As for the role Young plays, it’s one of a black woman, who has had to struggle to save her child while living in an oppressive capitalist system. Young says that roles like this created change in our society. 

Kara Young, Tony-nominated actress, “Clyde’s”: “One seat at a time, right? That audience. You know, I’m a part of the Labyrinth Theatre Company and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman once said that, you know, depending on how many seats in the audience that’s how many different plays people are watching and everybody is watching the play differently right? Everybody is taking in what they can hold on to or listening to what they’re listening to or being transformed in the way that they are and I think part of what we do as artists, whether you’re a painter or musician, an actor, you are there to share the work of the way that your spirit is being moved. Right? The way that you spirit is being moved in that moment and if you can see me differently, if you can see us differently then maybe I’ve done my job.”

Young stars alongside Uzo Aduba, which many know for her role as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in the series “Orange is the New Black”. The two women are up for the award of Belize Featured Actress in a Play. The main cast also includes Ron Cephas Jones, Edmund Donovan and Reza Salazar. Young’s father is Klay Young, Sr., born in Belize. The Youngs return home almost annually do a lot of charity work here in the country.