That’s ‘P’—as in Parenting

Maplewood resident Sandy Rustin presents her sketch-comedy musical about parenting at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

Sandy Rustin and Jeremy Dobrish co-founded Midtown Direct Rep in 2010.
Courtesy of AMT Public Relations/Micha Hamilton.

Sandy Rustin started acting on Broadway in 1998. But it was not until 2005 that she landed her biggest role yet: mother. This month, the Maplewood resident’s two worlds converge as her sketch-comedy musical about parenting, Rated P, premieres at the South Orange Performing Arts Center.

“Rated P is definitely a collision of the focuses in my life,” says Rustin. “It’s fully inspired by my experiences as a mom, but written because I wanted to continue to be creative.”

A regular on Broadway since she and her husband Evan, both 35, moved to New York after graduating from Northwestern, Rustin temporarily stepped away from the footlights when her oldest son, Isaac, was born.

Two years ago, just a week before the birth of second son, Charlie, the Rustins moved to Maplewood. She’d begun writing sketches about parenthood after Issac’s birth. The stories, she says, “are based on growing up with my parents, or my own experiences as a mom, or even those of my friends.”

The show’s four actors are all members of Midtown Direct Rep, SOPAC’s resident theater company, cofounded last year by Rustin and Rated P director Jeremy Dobrish.

This fall, Rustin will plunge back into acting when she starts rehearsals as the standby for Julia Stiles in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig on Broadway. “I took a big chunk of time to be a mom and certainly that’s my most valuable role,” says Rustin. “But I felt ready to get back to work.”

Rated P runs May 5-8. For ticket information, call 973-313-ARTS or visit sopacnow.org.

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