‘Suffs’ stars Jenn Colella, Nikki M. James talk history, Hillary, Hamilton

(17 Apr 2024)
New York – 28 February 2024
1. Sneak peak performance – “Suffs”
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jenn Colella, actor – on the show being compared to another historical musical:
“It feels great. You want to compare us to ‘Hamilton,’ please by all means. At one point, people were calling us ‘Her-milton,’ which we thought was awesome and hilarious. Yeah, I guess there are definitely some similarities, especially in the fact that Shaina wrote it and is starring in it. But this is its own beautiful beast, and people will soon, I think, shed that comparison once they see it.”
3. Sneak peak performance – “Suffs”
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jenn Colella, actor – on entertainment becoming a teaching moment:
“Well, it’s really cool because I think a lot of us didn’t get information about women’s suffrage. I certainly didn’t know anything beyond, you know, Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony that was like the extent of my knowledge. So, yes, you’re going to get more knowledge about history, but this piece isn’t just historical. It’s about the relationships within the movement, which makes it really exciting and crackle. So, you’re going to get a piece of history, you’re going to get some information that you don’t know. You’re also going to get to see how it’s still very relevant today, how we’re still fighting for women’s rights. But you’re also going to get the interpersonal relationships of these women fighting for the same thing.”
5. Sneak peak performance – “Suffs”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki M. James, actor – on why the show is more than a theatrical experience:
“In ‘Suffs,’ we’re learning a lot about women that have almost been forgotten or erased by history. When you ask people about the women’s suffrage movement, most people, I think would say Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. And those women, while incredible, had passed away by the time the 19th amendment was passed. And so, I want the world, American children, grown ups, people all around the world to know the names of the women who really carried that – to make a sports metaphor, carry the ball across the goal line."
7. Shaina Taub addresses audience
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Jenn Colella, actor – on Hillary Clinton as a producer:
(Reporter: Is it nerving to watch to see Hillary Clinton out there looking at your performance?)
“Yes. It’s both, nerve wracking and exciting. It feels like, of course, we would be performing something for a woman who has broken so many glass ceilings herself, and it feels like we’re doing our best to honor the work that she’s done as well.”
9. Sneak peak performance – “Suffs”
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki M. James, actor – on Hillary Clinton as a producer:
"I mean, it feels surreal. I remember when the first time Hillary came to see the show down at the Public, she was kind enough to meet all of us. It was before she was involved, I think. I believe it was before she was involved more officially in our production. She came as a, you know, an audience member, a patron, and she came on stage and she said something along the lines of, ‘whoa, I really recognize that struggle.’ It’s amazing to have this trailblazer on our team. It means a lot to us. It means we’re doing the right thing. We’re telling her story – hers and ours. And, you know, the women in past generations, our ancestors and also future women. We’re getting it down on paper.”
11. Sneak peak performance – “Suffs”

After a successful run at the Public Theater, “Suffs” has made the move to Broadway, with opening night set for Thursday.

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