Support group helps Broadway actors with children

- The ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ sung by Pearl Sun to her 19-month-old Max sounds a whole lot prettied than the average lullaby. That’s because Ms. Sun is an actor, in the middle of rehearsals for a role in the Broadway musical Come From Away. “Rehearsal is from 11 to 5 then I go back home, feed him his dinner, do bedtime and bath time routine, pass him to my husband, and then go to the theater to watch the show,” says Sun. Juggling parenting and preforming is exhausting; a tireless role hundreds of mothers endure.

Dilemma’s like these are how the group Broadway Baby Mama’s was created. The private Facebook group invites mommy’s in show biz to have an honest and raw conversation about parenting. 

“I think all of us in this business when we decided to have a family, we were like, ‘will we ever work again? How does this work?’” explains Julie Reiber, mother of two. 
Reiber also stars in Come From Away. She’s been in 7 Broadway shows, she even played Elphaba in Wicked for a few years. Reiber did all of this while starting a raising a family. “This one was in Pricilla Queen of the Desert,” Reiber says pointing to her oldest daughter, “In my belly until 18 weeks, she was dancing the disco.” 

Both Ms. Sun and Reiber star in Come From Away as standby roles. That means they could be asked at a moment’s notice to perform in any or all of the 8 shows a week. Even if they aren’t asked to perform that day, they’re still expected to attend the show. “You’re already sleep deprived as a mom, but then you add to it that you have a show,” Reiber says. 

The Broadway Baby Mama group hosts more than 100 women in the business. They exchange tips on balancing work and family, they share babysitter contacts, and most importantly, the group makes the women feel like they’re not alone. “It’s really a relief as a mom to know that you have a safe space where you can talk about the hardships of being a mom,” Reiber explains, “Especially a mom on Broadway because it’s hard, not gonna lie, but it’s also really wonderful.”

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