Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and we thought there would be no better way to mark the occasion than by interviewing a woman who is a mother both on the Broadway stage and off! Jennifer Laura Thompson plays Cynthia Murphy, a mother in a difficult situation, in the Broadway phenomenon Dear Evan Hansen.
We sat down with Jennifer and discussed being a mom on and off stage, and why she thinks Dear Evan Hansen resonates with audiences far and wide.
Broadway Inbound: Has being a mom yourself affected how you play the role of Cynthia?Jennifer Laura Thompson: Everything about being a mom is infused in the character of Cynthia. The connection she feels with her children even when they are pulling away is as strong as a gravitational pull. I am in constant orbit of my real-life son and my “stage” children as well. When Cynthia loses Connor, the orbit gets rocked and she struggles to bring his loving memory back into balance.
BI: Conversely, has the role affected you as a mom? Do you notice any differences from before you stepped into the role to now?
JLT: In Dear Evan Hansen, I am forced to face the insurmountable idea of losing a child and to try and imagine any way past the devastation. Exploring that path has made me ever more aware of the kinds of things that are divisive in family relationships and the kinds of strength that we don’t even know exist. It has taught me to forgive myself and embrace the moments I have with my family.
BI: Do you find yourself being a mother figure for the younger cast members when you’re offstage?
JLT: Absolutely. I keep a snack bag for my daughter when she needs one. I am super protective of both Laura and Mike’s experiences and their feelings. I have also watched both of them grow into even more beautiful human beings than when we first met and I am a proud Mommy.
BI: Why do you think Dear Evan Hansen resonates with all family types and people of all ages?
JLT: The common denominator between all generations is that we all feel flawed and the message this show conveys is that flawed is okay, as long as we don’t let it keep us from trying to do our best. Also, forgiveness is very powerful.
BI: Do you have any special plans for this Mother’s Day?
JLT: I’d be happy to spend a night out at McDonalds with my boys.
BI: What places in New York City would you recommend families visit?
JLT: Gulliver’s Gate is an excellent exhibit in midtown. Take a tour of Chinatown, the innermost small streets to discover culture only found on the other side of the planet. Get an amazing view of the city from Top of the Rock on 30 Rockefeller Center’s rooftop.
BI: There are a lot of shows out on Broadway, why is Dear Evan Hansen the one to see?JLT: It’s prescient, contemporary story telling with incredible music and a great message. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you love it.
A big thank you to Jennifer for chatting with us. If you still haven’t figured out what to get the mothers in your life for Mother’s Day, why not give her the gift of Broadway? You can purchase tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen by visiting the show page below, or purchase tickets to any of our shows by clicking here.