Monday, January 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT over Zoom
The AGMA Staging Staff Caucus will host “BUILDING INDUSTRY CARE: An Open Discussion on Parents and Caregivers in Our Field” on Monday, January 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT. ALL AGMA MEMBERS ARE INVITED AND ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.
All AGMA members in good standing can register here.
Rachel Spencer Hewitt will lead the Zoom discussion as guest speaker. She is the founder and National Director of Programming, Partnerships, and Resources of Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL), a national organization that serves as a resource hub, community, and solutions generator for parents in the arts and the institutions who support them.
Many of the discussions will surround The New Standard of Care and can be found here: https://www.paaltheatre.com/new-standard-of-care.
Rachel Spencer Hewitt is an equity actor with an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. She is a Baker Duncan Scholar and received her BA in Drama from Trinity University in San Antonio. In 2021, she was named one of five women to watch in theatre by Shondaland for her work with PAAL. Rachel’s professional acting repertoire includes Broadway (King Charles III), Off-Broadway (The Seagull directed by Max Stafford Clark, the New York premiere of A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau, and Peter and the Starcatcher at New York Theatre Workshop), extensive regional work (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, Bay Street Theatre with director Michael Wilson, and more), international theatre, feature films, and more.
Rachel has participated in national think tanks, on panels, and facilitated workshops on parenting in the arts at multiple gatherings, including the national TCG conferences, BroadwayCon, and Latinx Theatre Commons Annual Convening. Rachel’s professional acting work and contact information can be found at RachelSpencerHewitt.com and her advocacy organization at PAALtheatre.com.
PAAL is a national advocacy organization serving as a resource hub, community, and solutions generator for caregivers in the performing arts and media and the institutions that support them. PAAL created the first all-gender, all-discipline national PAAL Childcare Grants for individuals and institutions.
Rachel’s work with PAAL has been mentioned in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Shondaland.com, American Theatre Magazine, Backstage, Hartford Courant, HowlRound Theatre Commons, WAMU for NPR News in Washington D.C, and the recently published book From Aphra Behn to Fun Home: A Cultural History of Feminist Theatre. On International Women’s Day in 2019, her organization PAAL was selected as one of ten “Changemaker” organizations invited to take the stage and present at Disney Theatrical’s Women’s Day on Broadway in New York City.
PAAL hosted the first national summit on parent and caregiver support in December 2019 in partnership with The Public Theater, co-hosted by A.R.T./New York, and featuring guest keynotes Emily Mann of the McCarter Theatre Center and Director Mary Hodges (assistant director, Slave Play). With over a dozen local chapters throughout the country and growing, PAAL has also engaged with active solutions-generation, including partnering with Women’s Theatre Festival Philadelphia on the first Motherhood Reading Festival and The Playwrights Realm on the Radical Parent Inclusion Project (RPI), creating a comprehensive support structure for parents and caregivers for an entire off-Broadway production process, and with American Theatre Magazine for their April 2020 issue dedicated to parents and caregivers in the theatre. To date, PAAL has provided over $35,000 in grants to artists with families, including both childcare grants and emergency grants in the pandemic, with more grant announcements forthcoming. In 2021, PAAL partnered with Blackboard Plays, founded by Garlia Cornelia Jones, also PAAL’s producing director, to create the first Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival as well as partnering with Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival and Maestra Moms for the groundbreaking Motherhood Concert, featuring and producing original works from six mother composers. PAAL continues to provide digital training, consulting, and creating affinity spaces for caregivers in the performing arts and media, including open sessions for everyone, spaces for BIPOC mothers, Black mothers, and more at PAALtheatre.com.