The winners of this year's Olivier Awards were expected, and yet revolutionary.
Playwright Lucy Kirkwood was the odds-on favorite to win best new play for Chimerica, which also picked up trophies for best director Lyndsey Turner, best lighting, best sound, and best set design.
Chimerica, which ran in London's West End last year, is a moral and political look at Chinese-American relations, locating its focal point in fictional photojournalist Joe Schofield, who was one of several to snap a picture of the man defying the rolling tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The present-day Schofield sets off to find that man, a decision that leads to larger questions about journalistic responsibility and the possibilities of political change.
Kirkwood is the fifth female playwright to win the Best New Play prize since the Olivier Awards' founding in 1976.
Turner was one among three women nominees for this year's five-person Best Director category. She is the fourth female director to win an Olivier. The record number of female nominees in the directing group led Time to proclaim, "Theater is much less sexist than film."
[h/t The Guardian]