Nathan and Allie Scherich of Sleepy Hollow have three children. Just like any other Westchester family they juggle soccer practice, homework, and work schedules every day. What’s slightly different for their 7-year-old twin boys, Oliver and Elliot, and their 1-year-old sister, Caroline, is that mommy and daddy’s work schedule is unlike other parents.
Nathan does the reverse commute to New York City to appear in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway and Allie is a teaching artist that runs workshops in conjunction with the Disney shows Aladdin, Lion King, and Frozen and is also a child guardian for Broadway shows, all of which allow her to work her schedule around her home life.
Both Nathan and Allie hail from outside New York. Nathan is a North Carolina transplant, who attended Vanderbilt University as a math major looking perhaps to go into medicine or teaching. Nathan says, “Performing was a hobby, it was only after graduation that I decided to try it as a career and now here I am years later.”
Allie grew up in Southwick, a small town in Massachusetts. She honed her musical theater talent there and graduated from Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts having studied theater and education. She had the theater bug and was set to give it a go.
It should come as no surprise that the two met literally on stage. They were performing together in the musical Crazy for You at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Pennsylvania.
They have individually appeared at many other venues. Allie at our very own Westchester Broadway Theatre, regional theaters such as Paper Mill Playhouse and Goodspeed, as well as Disney Cruise Lines. Nathan also worked in regional theaters including a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at the North Shore Music Theatre, several National Tours, and a five-year stint on Broadway with The Jersey Boys.
Before settling in Westchester the couple, who as Allie says, “can thrive on spontaneity” left their Astoria apartment with their then 5-year-old twin boys to work in Telluride, Colo. Allie performed and Nathan managed a theater. There were many pluses. “The boys did kindergarten in Colorado and they learned to ski,” says Allie. But the couple missed New York and headed back to set down roots in Westchester.
Nathan, whose grueling schedule includes eight shows a week as well as auditions, says he and Allie wanted to give the boys more space to play. They also wanted to create stability for their children and give them access to good schools. “The logistics of going to school in New York City, and the limited space to run around outdoors led us to consider Westchester as a place to raise our family, while still being close enough to the city,” says Nathan.
Taking his responsibility as a parent to heart he makes it his business to get to soccer matches on Saturday mornings. “I rest on the train on the way into the theater,” he says with a smile in his voice. He’s found other artists living in Westchester on that train ride. “I’ve met so many musicians, actors, stage hands, costume designers – any number of artists make the trip from Westchester to Manhattan.” It’s an actual community that even has monthly meet ups.
Allie, who always wanted to be a mom, but admits to being surprised at how “jarring” having twins was, says they thought that after having children taking a National Tour would be off the table. Yet Nathan took a National Tour with Beautiful and though the children missed daddy, there were upsides. “The kids got to go to Florida and Toronto to see daddy perform,” she says. They bring the kids into plans, decisions, and challenges that having careers in the theater presents. “Because we want longevity in our careers we continue to reframe what normal is,” she explains.
There are other upsides to having parents in the theater and living so close to Broadway. “It was neat when the boys came to see me in Jersey Boys,” says Nathan. The boys have seen eight Broadway shows. “Watching a show is powerful stuff,” says Nathan. “When we went to see Once Upon an Island one of my sons was literally on the edge of his seat watching with wonder at the magic happening on the stage.”
Allie says it’s a part of her life’s work to make sure that her kids see theater. “Any kind of theater exposure is great,” she says. “But living so close to Broadway with some of the best theater in the world, it’s wonderful that we can take advantage of that.” Her goal as a teacher is to foster the love of theater in children and adults.
There are also many benefits for children when they participate in theater programs. “Theater asks you to step outside your comfort zone, it encourages children to develop collaboration and communication skills and it supports their confidence and creativity,” says Allie. The boys are getting plenty of exposure to theater, yet so far they are just happy to be in the audience.
“We like it here,” says Nathan. “We got to go to a local Homecoming football game, it was like “Friday Night Lights” just a great small town football game.” Allie echoes the sentiment.
Jean Sheff is co-publisher and editor of Westchester Family, theater-lover and former performing artist.
Kids and teens see Broadway shows for free!
This month expose your children to the wonder of live theater. The Broadway League invites young people ages 18 and under to attend a participating Broadway show for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
The 23rd annual Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place on one night only, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
A Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket also includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, and more. Select shows will offer in-theater activities for kids including talkbacks, Kids’ Night on Broadway activity books and other events.
Kids’ Night on Broadway, a program of The Broadway League, is generously presented by The New York Times with additional support from Westchester Family.