SUFFS' Ally Bonino is the April 2024 Debut of the Month

Bonino discusses making her Broadway debut with the show, her favorite on and off-stage moments and more.

By: Apr. 25, 2024
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SUFFS' Ally Bonino is the April 2024 Debut of the Month
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Ally Bonino is currently making her Broadway debut as suffragist Lucy Burns in Suffs. Bonino's credits include Suffs at The Public TheaterLeonard Bernstein’s Mass at The Kennedy Center, Myths and Hymns at Prospect Theater Company, Dogfight at 5th Floor Theater Company, Merrily We Roll Along at APAC, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at George Street Playhouse, and more. 

BroadwayWorld spoke with Bonino about what it means to her to be making her Broadaway debut with Suffs, what she hopes audiences take away from the production, and much more.

Read the full interview and check out photography by BroadwayWorld's own Jennifer Broski below!

How does it feel to be making your Broadway debut with Suffs?

I don’t even have the proper vocabulary to describe what it means. It’s very special, I’m so honored and humbled to be a part of this piece, it feels so important and very necessary right now. And I’ve been with it for such a long time that to see it through to this really cool moment feels very full circle in a lot of ways, and it’s just the honor of my life, truly.

On that note, what does it feel like having been with this show for such a long time and to have traveled with it to Broadway?

It feels surreal. I would say 95% of the work I’ve done over the last many years in my career has been in developing new work, and it’s one of my favorite things to do, I love developing new pieces. There’s nothing wrong with pieces that already exist in the canon of musical theatre, but to be on the ground floor of something new is so special, and to put your heart and imprint on it is such a singular thing. There are so many brilliant pieces of new work that just never get their proper due, it never sees the full arc of its completion. So, to have been with a piece since early 2018 and to really watch it grow, and develop, and change, and settle within itself has been so rewarding, and truly singular.

This is the first piece that I’ve been involved with that has made it to this level that I’ve been able to stay with, which is a huge honor, and I just feel very grateful that the team trusts me enough to keep me around for this [laughs]. It’s been wild to go through the many different stages of development.


What’s it been like working with this company?

Oh my god, they’re family, they’re just absolute family. I love every single person on that stage and in the crew. It makes coming to work so easy, and I cannot think of another company that I’ve been with that has been so empathetic and kind to one another. And that’s one of the things I love hearing when we meet people after the show, they’re like, “It looks like you all really love each other up there,” and it’s because we do. There is so much trust and so much mutual respect, we just gas each other up all the time.

And I think it’s why the show is so successful, because you’re not afraid to make big choices, because you know that if you fall you never really hit the ground with this group, there will always be hands to help you back up. And that’s a really special thing in theatre, to have that sort of freedom, and a really, truly safe space to create, and fail, and make mistakes, and also make really good choices too. It’s incredible, it’s an incredible group of humans.

What is your favorite part about the character you play, Lucy Burns?

I love her strength, I love her heart and her spirit, and I love so much how she loves the people in her life. When I think of a ride or die, it’s Lucy. She, historically was, I think the most imprisoned Suff of the American Suffragettes, and they put her through hell in those prisons. There was a night called the ‘Night of Terror’ where she was just completely brutalized, and yet she still went completely back out and stood at the pickets and fought for the women in her life and across the country. To truly be able to pour all of herself into something and to do it with such love is so admirable. I think she’s incredible.  

Do you have a favorite onstage moment?

I love at the beginning of Act Two, there’s this incredible drum fill that happens. Upstage it’s me, Nadia [Dandashi], Kim [Blanck] and Shaina [Taub], and we’re just waiting for that curtain to rise. And I don’t know what it is about that moment, but it gives me full body chills every single time we get to do it, it’s just so cool! The four of us are all making our Broadway debuts in this, and we’re standing onstage, and the curtain rises, and we’re there. It’s so cool. I feel like such a badass in that moment.


What are you most looking forward to audiences seeing with this show?  

I’m most excited for audiences to meet these women and to learn this history. This did not happen such a long time ago. These women are not so far removed from where we are today, and yet it is such a forgotten and glossed-over part of our history in this country. And the thing that’s fascinating is people will say, “I had no idea these women existed, I had no idea what was going on.” And it’s very exciting, especially when younger girls come and see the show and they’re like, “We didn’t learn about this! We were learning about the Constitution and this wasn’t even talked about!” And it’s like, yeah, because these women have not been given their due. And I’m so excited for people to meet them.

We don’t cover everything in the show, it’s not humanly possible to fit it all in a two hour piece, but I hope that there will be one person that resonates with you and you will go home and Google them or research them and fall down the rabbit hole of these incredible women. Because they are here for you to discover, and if this can be your introduction to them, how amazing is that?