NEW YORK CITY - This Saturday will mark the first time a Broadway show has ever provided free childcare for parents.
Mother and actor Grace Berryman will be there—at the Broadway Theatre for a performance of Here Lies Love.
She will leave her three-year-old and five-year-old in the hands of official caregivers, so she can come to the show’s Saturday matinee.
The service—which is completely free and covered by the show’s producers—is a product of Rachel J. S. Hewitt, who is also an actor and who knows the struggle of being a parent while working in theatre.
"I turned down about 95% of my auditions because the contracts paid less than I would pay a sitter per week," Hewitt said.
She started the Parent Artist Advocacy League, which runs what it calls "a childcare matinee." Their first partnership with a Broadway show is this Saturday’s Here Lies Love 3:30 performance.
Hewitt says the organization partners with babysitters who are insured and CPR-certified.
Clint Ramos is the lead producer on Here Lies Love, a musical by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim that explores the rise and fall of the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. The show marks Broadway’s first-ever all-Filipino cast.
Ramos calls the decision to partner with PAAL "a no-brainer."
As a father himself, he says finding childcare is often one of the biggest hurdles to seeing a show.
"The way we’ve created Here Lies Love is about community, and really one of our missions is to create access. And I can’t think of any other show that’s more perfect for that," Ramos said.