Mother’s Day is a bit different this year. With social distancing orders still in place, moms will be celebrating at home. Broadway Spin caught up with three Broadway moms who do it all to find out how they’ve been staying in touch with their cast mates and their plans for the holiday.
Jessica Phillips, Heidi Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen
Jessica Phillips has kept mostly in touch with her Dear Evan Hansen cast mates through one-on-one texting and Facetime calls, but they’ve also had “a full company Zoom” twice, which Phillips says was “really fun.” Overall, the mom of two sees this forced separation as an interesting social experiment. “These are the folks who know me at my most vulnerable, most emotional levels, who hold safe space for me, and yet right now we are all living autonomously,” she explains.
Instead of seeing her cast mates every day, Phillips is sheltering with her husband, fellow actor Tad Wilson, and their two teenage boys. For Mother’s Day, they are planning “to do a big brunch of homemade stuff” though she notes that since her boys don’t get up until about noon, it’s probably more of a “lunch.” (Fair.) She isn’t sure what’s in store after the meal. “We’re fortunate to have expansive outdoor space where we’re sheltering so hopefully a hike or a game of cornhole or a bonfire. Or all of the above! I’m just glad we’re going to be together,” she adds.
Jessica Rush, Rhonda in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Jessica Rush is one hardworking mom. In addition to playing Rhonda in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical and raising her daughter, she co-hosts the brilliantly named podcast Mama’s Talkin’ Loud. During this unprecedented time, Rush is keeping in touch with her cast both via text threads with her costars and a bi-weekly Zoom call. “What’s so lovely about the zoom is that it includes our producers, general managers, creatives, all together discussing where we are at, what we should be watching, and checking in on one another. Phyllida and Anthony really set a familial, supportive tone in the room from day one, and that has now been extended during this time. It’s nice to know we aren’t forgotten about, as employees, but also fellow humans,” she explains.
As for Mother’s Day, she doesn’t know what the holiday holds for her just yet. “I’d like to think it involves sleeping in, hot coffee in bed after meditation, finally finishing the book I’ve had to put down over and over, a masked walk with my loves, calls to our moms, and a deliciously indulgent dinner outside.” Hey — a girl can dream!
Happy McPartlin, standby who covers five principal female roles (out of six!) in Come From Away
Come From Away‘s Happy McPartlin is keeping in touch with her cast mates though a series of text chains. “We have one with the whole cast, which is a bonanza of topics and many check ins during each day,” she reveals. “We also have smaller groups of people like just the parents, who are commiserating with each other on the challenges of all of this and helping bolster each other’s spirits when we have off days as moms and dads.”
“I also have a standing call with some of my standby compatriots, since we are used to spending a great deal of time sharing our lives in person in the dressing room,” Partlin shares. “We FaceTime and perhaps have an adult beverage or two while we talk about our week, what’s happening in the world and how much we miss each other.”
While she’s not getting time with her costars right now, she is getting lots of time with her family, including her young son. Though she doesn’t know what her plans are just yet, her wishes for Mother’s Day are pretty simple. “I hope for beautiful weather for the day – as every day in this crazy time seems SO much better when the sun is out!” Partlin adds, “I imagine there will be some nice brunch prepared (my favorite meal) and probably some handmade cards from my son and my husband. I had my birthday this past month in quarantine, and it was a special thing to get those special thoughtful homemade gifts. Hopefully it will be a day filled with smiles and hugs and sunshine!”