The Women of Broadway’s Girl From the North Country Reveal Their Heroes for Women’s History Month

Special Features   The Women of Broadway’s Girl From the North Country Reveal Their Heroes for Women’s History Month
 
These eight stars reflect on the women they look to for strength and hope during Broadway shutdown.
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Cast of Girl From The North Country

As Women’s History Month 2020 winds down, the women of Broadway’s Girl From the North Country, featuring the songs of Bob Dylan, took a moment to consider the female figures who inspire them and give them strength in challenging times—particularly like the one we currently endure.

Here, Tony Award nominee Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina), Caitlin Houlahan (Waitress), and their castmates more share the beacons of hope getting them through:

Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Marianne Laine

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“The first person I called after learning about the shutdown was my mother, Tina. She told me that no one is exempt from struggle, disappointment, or sickness, and as long as I have my health, I'll find the will and tenacity to carry on. My mother raised four girls all by herself and is now raising her grandchildren. She is the pinnacle example of strength, beauty, selflessness, and wisdom in my eyes.”

Mare Winningham, Elizabeth Laine

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“My sister Beth is the person I have always wanted to emulate in words and deeds. Her kindness knows no bounds, and she works harder and enjoys life more than most. I wanted to spoil her when she was to come out to see our beautiful musical, but because we have shut down temporarily, I will wait to see when that can happen. In her long career as a high school English teacher and college counselor, she changed lives. Because we look alike, people will often stop me to ask if I am related to Mrs. Winningham, their favorite teacher. Yes, she is my beloved sister.”

Caitlin Houlahan, Kate Draper

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“Mary Houlahan is a saint on earth. My mom may be tiny, but she exudes strength and has taught me how to be strong in any situation, especially in a time like this. She’s the greatest role model; every day she approaches with faith and every person she greets with love. There’s no end to her kindness and giving heart. She will always put the needs of others before her own, but will still find time to take for herself. I aspire to be like her every day. She is my rock, my best friend, and my hero.”

Luba Mason, Mrs. Burke

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Luba Mason: "When times are rough, I call on my memories of my mentor, director/choreographer, Lee Theodore. Lee was DYNAMIC and a trailblazer in preserving the original choreography of B’way shows by creating her own company called the American Dance Machine. The original “Anybody’s” in Jerome Robbins' West Side Story, Lee was no nonsense, old school and taught life-long lessons of discipline and professionalism.

She passed over 30 yrs ago but when I find myself in down times, she taught me to always keep my head up and keep moving on..."

“When times are rough, I call on my memories of my mentor, director-choreographer, Lee Theodore. Lee was dynamic and a trailblazer in preserving the original choreography of Broadway shows by creating her own company called the American Dance Machine. The original Anybodys in Jerome Robbins West Side Story, Lee was no nonsense, old-school, and taught life-long lessons of discipline and professionalism. She passed over 30 years ago but when I find myself in down times, she taught me to always keep my head up and keep moving on.”

Jeannette Bayardelle, Mrs. Neilsen

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“They way she gives of herself is inspiring. I move through life fearlessly because of her example. She showed me what a boss looks like. She always encourages me to go out and get what I see because she believes in my vision. Her ambition is admirable. She is love. I love her. My Mother.”

Rachel Stern, ensemble

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“My Aunt Liliane was a fabulous New Yorker who donated all her time and money to charities. She taught me that it was OK to ask questions and change my mind. She was a Holocaust survivor. She refused to dwell in sadness or live in fear, but understood danger. I think of her during this time of uncertainty and feel brave.”

Chiara Trentalange, swing

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“Times have been very tough this past week, being out of work and not knowing what the future holds. When I think of a woman in my life who exemplified strength during hard times, it’s my mommom [Grandma] Elaine. Even through struggling with dementia, she still had a positive outlook. While being quarantined, she would suggest that we all look on the bright side, have long phone calls with friends and family, and have a solo dance party in your kitchen. Preferably to Frank Sinatra.”

Chelsea Lee Williams, ensemble

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“My mother is resilient and has taught me how to remain calm when faced with trouble. Together we have survived Hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Wilma, and Sandy, and she is the first person I listened to for advice when getting through our current coronavirus crisis.”

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