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Inspired by “Suffs,” We Keep Marching

Shaina Taube onstage as suffragist Alice Paul. Joan Marcus*

On Sunday night, Shaina Taub, the genius behind "Suffs," took home two Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Book. We were ecstatic but not the least bit surprised, having had the pleasure of seeing the show just a week before her well-deserved accolades.


We loved "Suffs."


Now, we are definitely the target audience for "Suffs" — passionate feminists who hold an annual women's equity summit launched in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of some women in the U.S. gaining the right to vote and to discuss ongoing gender equality issues. But this show is a must-see for everyone. So, when we planned our recent trip to NYC, seeing "Suffs" was on the very top of the list.


Here's a little about us: when we catch a Broadway show, we crave an escape from our everyday lives. We weren't entirely sure we'd be able to relax and enjoy a show so closely tied to our cause. But "Suffs" delivered everything we love about a great musical: phenomenal songs, humor, stunning costumes, and breathtaking sets. It gave us characters to fall in love with and a powerful, resonant message. It's a cliché to say we laughed and cried, but it's almost true. We actually laughed and sobbed for a solid 20 minutes.


One other element of the show that we did not anticipate was that the entire cast is made up of women and non-binary people. In a reverse-Shakespearean move, even the male roles are played by the female and GNCNB cast. The orchestra mirrors the onstage performers. There’s a lot of feminine energy in this space and it felt amazing to sit in the audience in soak that up. But “Suffs” isn’t just a show by women for women. As the cast took their bows at curtain call, the two men sitting in front of us were the first to leap to their feet, clearly as moved as the hundreds of women in the theater.  


We also appreciated that "Suffs" doesn't gloss over the inequities of the suffrage movement. It rightfully highlights the contributions and struggles of Black suffragists like Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells (brilliantly portrayed by Nikki M. James, who earned a Tony nomination for her role), who fought alongside their white counterparts without enjoying the same recognition or privileges when the 19th Amendment was ratified.


If your image of the suffrage movement involves only prim, corseted women, the show will set you straight. "Suffs" unveils the hardships that these radical women faced during imprisonment from hunger strikes to forced feedings.


While the 1920 victory was significant, women didn't win the war. Over the past ten decades, women's movements have seen tremendous progress and devastating setbacks. One of our Power Passionistas reminded us recently that we’re not going to fix all the problems in the world in our lifetime, so we should focus on making the impact we can.


So the lyrics from “Suffs” anthem “Keep Marching” really resonated with us:


Keep marching 'cause your ancestors are all the proof you need That progress is possiblе, not guaranteed It will only be made if we keep marching, keep marching on


So we keep marching.


Passionistas, if you find yourself in New York City or are looking for a reason to visit, march over to the Music Box Theatre and see "Suffs." You'll leave the theater reinvigorated for the fight, because let's face it, we all need a little wind beneath our wings now and then. See the show. Take a girlfriend. Bring your brother and your husband. Everyone needs to hear the story of the Suffs and spread the word about the best show on women's rights ever to grace the Broadway stage.



And check out "Suffs" amazing partners:

When We All Vote is a leading national, nonpartisan initiative on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed and engaged electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable.

The ERA Coalition and its sister organization the Fund for Women’s Equality/ERA Coalition Forward represent a movement of movements composed of 300+ partner organizations across the country, representing 80 million people. From gender, racial, economic, and reproductive justice to LGBTQ+ rights, we unite interconnected, intergenerational, and intersectional organizations under one banner: to advance sex equality. This is what unites us all. Visit their website at

Founded by Meena Harris, The Phenomenal Theatre Fund is a Tony Award-winning nonprofit dedicated to supporting bold theatrical works from underrepresented storytellers. PTF is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.


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