18: Moms in the Theatre

In The Episode

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Rachel Spencer Hewit

Founder - Parent-Artist Advocacy League

Rachel Spencer Hewitt received her MFA in acting from the Yale School of
Drama. Her credits include Broadway, off-Broadway and regional theatre. She
is mom of 2 children, a 4 year old and a 2 year old, the Founder and
Executive Director of The National Organization for Individual Caregivers
in Institutional Support, and the Founder of the Parent-Artist Advocacy
League (PAAL) for the performing arts.

Roberta Pereira

Producing Director - The Playwrights Realm

Roberta Pereira is a Tony-nominated, Olivier-award winning theatre producer.
She is currently the producing director of “The Playwrights
Realm”, an off-Broadway theatre company committed to amplifying the voices
of emerging playwrights. She’s the solo mom of 20-month old Bianca.

Show Highlights

– Scheduled craziness and chaos of hours
– The need for invisible labor, contingency plans, creative
problem-solver
– Saying yes to opportunities that may have a 24-hour notice and then
prioritizing that opportunity over everything, no matter how healthy (or
unhealthy) that decision is for everyone
– Reaching out and receiving help from family
– Broadway Babysitters based in NYC, composed primarily of artists who
are used to long hours and understand industry norms
– Urban Sitter, an online database that will show locations for
caregivers while traveling
– Washington D.C. just passed a paid-leave law
– FMLA applies to some people, but doesn’t require paid leave
– Celebrating the individual and saying yes to everything that they are
– Hostile work culture can break an individual, because of their needs
outside of the industry
– Prioritizing the health and independence of the individual Rachel and Roberta’s goal is to make the industry better for everyone

– When you’re home, be focused on home
– The Radical Parent Inclusion (RPI) project – providing childcare at
auditions
– Sometimes not being able to afford being seen is the reason people
don’t get the job, and not because they are not capable or don’t want to
work.
– Changing rehearsal dates to coincide with a child’s holiday from
school, so that it becomes a day off for both the parent and the child
– The idea of the “disposable artist”: you work until you’re burned out. Once you burn out, you’re replaceable. If we care about longevity, we need
to care about practices that are sustainable.

– Caring about inclusion through the lens of parenting
– What lessons can we learn that are transferable?
– Hiring parents can be an asset
– Providing a child-care matinee, where children do activities while
parents watch a play
– Being an agent of change within the industry and leading by example
– Find community! Don’t underestimate the value of resource-sharing.

The “Parents at Work” Podcast is sponsored by:

The Spiggle Law Firm, representing people who have been wrongfully fired, or fear they might be, with a particular focus on pregnancy discrimination.

Thanks for listening!

18: Moms in the Theatre
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18: Moms in the Theatre
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18: Moms in the Theatre
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18: Moms in the Theatre
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