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Chatting with Bonnie Milligan: Tony winner of ‘Kimberly Akimbo’

Bonnie Milligan sat down and chatted prior to the 2024 Roger Rees Awards, which were held at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College.

Tony winner Bonnie Milligan
Tony winner Bonnie Milligan. Photo Credit: Christopher Boudewyns Photography
Tony winner Bonnie Milligan. Photo Credit: Christopher Boudewyns Photography

Tony winner Bonnie Milligan sat down and chatted prior to the 2024 Roger Rees Awards, which were held at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College.

Hosting the 2024 Roger Rees Awards

On Sunday, May 19, Milligan hosted the 2024 Roger Rees Awards, which celebrate excellence in student performance. “It is so exciting to be here,” Milligan said. “The energy that the kids bring is so beautiful. I am really excited to see the finalists perform.”

The Roger Rees Awards were directed and choreographed by Theo Lencicki with music direction by Christine Riley.  

This showcase featured 50 Roger Rees Awards nominees in musical production numbers from “Back to the Future” and “Spamalot” (sponsored by Theatrical Rights Worldwide) as well as solo performances by award finalists. 

W.T. Clarke High School’s Pit Orchestra, the winner of the inaugural “New York City Center High School Orchestra Award,” under the direction of guest conductor Rick Hip-Flores, were featured at the ceremony.

Milligan on the importance of this cause, honoring student excellence

When asked why this cause is so important to her, Milligan responded, “I think nurturing the love of theatre at a young age is so important in many ways even if you don’t decide to go into it as a career.”

“I think it nurtures creativity, intelligence, and an idea of being aware for those around you, and coming together as a community to create a story, and that is beautiful for any reason,” she explained.

For young and aspiring actors, she said, “Surround yourself with people that know you and love you. Don’t make your whole worth your talent because the business is a little too up and down for the success to determine whether you are a success as a human.”

“Also, just continue to foster your love of the work,” she added.

Victoria Clark
Victoria Clark. Photo Credit: Sophie Elgort

Working with Victoria Clark in ‘Kimberly Akimbo’

Milligan recalled working with fellow Tony winner Victoria Clark in “Kimberly Akimbo,” who played the title role. “Victoria is the ultimate actress, leader and performer,” she said. “Victoria was just wonderful.”

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, Milligan said with a sweet laugh, “I guess it would be called ‘Life After the Tony’.”

Speaking of her Tony win last year (for “Best Featured Actress in a Musical” for her portrayal of Aunt Debra), she described it as a “wonderful” feeling. “I loved playing Debra’s resourcefulness, drive, and her ability to turn any situation into a positive one,” she said.

‘Titanic’ production

Milligan shared that she is very much looking forward to the upcoming New York City Center Encores! production of the musical “Titanic,” which will play in mid-June of 2024. She will be playing the character Alice Beane. “We get to start rehearing in a little over a week,” she said.

Her superpower of choice would be teleportation. “If I could just teleport, that would be incredible,” she noted. “Sometimes, I have the worst travel luck so I would love to teleport to the different places I need to be.”

Favorite motto to live by

Milligan revealed that her favorite motto to live by is to “Live life to the fullest.”

Best advice that she has ever been given

She went on to share the best advice that she has ever been given: “As an actor, it is important to tell the truth.”


Regarding her definition of the word success, she said, “To be loved and to love those around you, and to just feel happy.”

To learn more about Tony award-winning actress Bonnie Milligan, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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