In what has become a Tony Award tradition, Mark Rylance took the stage of the Beacon Theatre after his name was called as Best Actor in a Play for Jerusalem and shared a poem with the expectant crowd.
“Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps,” Rylance began without preamble, using the words of 'Walking Through a Wall' by prose poet Louis Jenkins to accept his second Tony Award.
Rylance, who notoriously accepted his 2008 Best Actor Tony for his Broadway debut in Boeing-Boeing with another Jenkins poem, “The Back Country,” continued reciting 'Walking Through a Wall' (using one of his signature hats as a prop) through to the end, followed by a simple "thanks."
In case you missed it—or zoned out in confusion in the middle—the complete poem is below:
"Unlike flying or astral projection, walking through walls is a totally earth-related craft, but a lot more interesting than pot making or driftwood lamps. I got started at a picnic up in Bowstring in the northern part of the state. A fellow walked through a brick wall right there in the park. I said, 'Say, I want to try that.' Stone walls are best, then brick and wood. Wooden walls with fiberglass insulation and steel doors aren't so good. They won't hurt you. If your wall walking is done properly, both you and the wall are left intact. It is just that they aren't pleasant somehow. The worst things are wire fences, maybe it's the molecular structure of the alloy or just the amount of give in a fence, I don't know, but I've torn my jacket and lost my hat in a lot of fences. The best approach to a wall is, first, two hands placed flat against the surface; it's a matter of concentration and just the right pressure. You will feel the dry, cool inner wall with your fingers, then there is a moment of total darkness before you step through on the other side."