Should We Be Casting Live Babies in Broadway Shows?

 The Ferryman  Photo: Johan Persson

The Ferryman Photo: Johan Persson

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This isn’t click bait. I’m actually asking this question seriously. I’ve seen plenty of instances of children appearing in Broadway productions but I’ve never heard of a live baby being cast in a show, until now.

According to casting announcements, for the upcoming production of The Ferryman they have cast four babies in the character of Bobby. Just as they did in their previous production on the West End, the baby will appear on stage with the actors in a couple of scenes.

Now before anyone starts calling this a stunt, apparently there is a reason why the creative team(including director Sam Mendes) felt the need to have a live baby on stage rather than a fake one with sound effects. I’m told that crying has to do with it.

To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about this. While I certainly think that children should be able to be cast on Broadway, I do feel differently about a 6-9 month-old. There is nothing about the context or quality of the show that’s going to change my mind about that. There is no “why not see it first” type of attitude that would dissuade me. It just seems like a terrible idea.

Okay. Rant over.