AMERICAN THEATRE

Kids in the Hall

THE THEATRE FIELD IS NOT BUILT FOR parent artists. Six-day workweeks, 12-hour tech days, last-minute schedule changes—it’s almost like we don’t want parents working in theatre. It is especially challenging for parents who are playwrights, directors, designers, stage managers, and actors whose careers depend on working freelance in several organizations around the country and the world.

Parent Artist Advocacy League for Performing Arts + Media (PAAL), founded by Rachel, seeks to elevate the national standard of care for caregivers, and to that end led the first national summit dedicated to caregiver support in the performing arts last December, in partnership with the Public Theater. And the Playwrights Realm, an Off-Broadway theatre coled by Roberta, is centered around equity and inclusion and deeply committed to reflecting the full spectrum of humanity. As the socioeconomic impact of caregiving increases exponentially when other factors are involved, including for artists who are single parents and/or people of color, PAAL and the Playwrights Realm seemed like natural partners in envisioning a full production that publicly committed to radical parent support. With our missions aligned, the Radical Parent-Inclusion Project (RPI) was born.

It began like most great revolutions: with, a new play by Anna Moench (parent to Hank, and a new baby coming in 2020), with PAAL’s guidance we compiled a separate budget for RPI. Since parent support varies from family to family, and we did not have the whole team in place, we had to imagine what kind of support our parent artists might need. Some of it included known expenses (family-friendly housing for Moench and her family), but many of the line expenses were educated guesses (like onsite childcare during tech, which ended up not being needed for our group of parent artists).

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