The Broadway and Dance Communities' Make The Matinee March

by Michael Mahany | 1/23/2018 4:30 PM

Photo Credits: Julie Reiber, Broadwayworld.


This passed Saturday, when an estimated one million people marched nationally in the 2018 Women’s March, the dance and theatre community held their own supportive and concurrent event.


Last Friday, TimeOut New York broke the news that performer and cast member of Broadway’s Come From Away, Julie Reiber, had organized what was to be dubbed the Make The Matinee March. This march, which would run concurrently to the larger New York City march, would allow performers in shows the opportunity to participate, but avoid the huge crowds in order to make their Saturday matinee half-hour calls.


“I have always been very interested in politics and fighting for my rights and equal rights for all,” Reiber, a former Elphaba in Wicked, told Dance Network. “I find it imperative that we as citizens raise our voices and fight for what is right.”


Come From Away’s Julie Reiber. Photo credit: Broadwayworld.


The march was held at the corner of 45th Street and Eighth Avenue, in the heart of the Broadway Theatre District in Manhattan. While over 200,000 marchers are estimated to have marched in the Women’s March in New York City, a small but mighty crowd of 80 to 90 performers attended the Make The Matinee March.


“I attended the Women’s March on Washington last year right after Trump was elected and it was an incredible experience. To feel the energy of so many inspired people fighting for what is right was an invigorating thing to be a part of. This year I knew I had to march again and when I realized the timing of the New York march would never allow me to make my half-hour call, I was devastated, and I just felt we needed to march somehow,” said Reiber.


The general unhappiness of the New York City theatre and dance community toward the current administration was palpable during the event.


Reiber was inspired to organize the march after speaking with a female union stagehand from her show.


“Melissa Crawford, the wardrobe supervisor at Come From Away, suggested marching in the halls, and I thought we should head out onto the street. [So], I did some research to see if we could just march on the street, and found out we could; so we did!! I organized it and people came out and we had a blast!”


Photos from the Make The Matinee March. Photo Credit: Julie Reiber.


A few of Reiber’s friends from Hamilton, Javier Muñoz and Donald Webber, Jr. helped her get the word out via their social media handles.


Reiber spoke of the men who attended and marched.


“I think it’s vital and powerful to have the men marching with us too. The Women’s March has become much more than just a march for women’s rights. At this point we are all fighting for our rights and the livelihood of our democracy…So I think it’s awesome to have the men marching too!”


Come From Away, the musical in which Reiber performs on Broadway, tells the story of universally rising up and of a community coming together to collectively facedown an issue. She talked about the similarities of the show and the historical significance of the Women’s March.


“Well I don’t think the impact of the Women’s March and the resistance has gotten enough credit, frankly. The media hasn’t covered it adequately,” Reiber said. “To think that the largest protests in history have occurred with these Women’s Marches says something and speaks volumes for the citizens of this country…”


The event’s notice. Photo Credit: Julie Reiber.


When asked about the possible future of other Make The Matinee marches, Reiber said, “I think I would always participate in the large marches when I can because it is such a powerful experience to be surrounded by so many citizens demonstrating their rights. It’s an amazing feeling!”


“But, it was great to be with my colleagues and our fans,” she continued, “and if next year I’m in a show and can’t make the march, I would absolutely organize this again!”

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