The children of Broadway are celebrated by the Actors Fund with the new Ziggy Bear tradition, during which young casts are invited to present a badge designed to represent their show onto the jean jacket of a large stuffed animal. On Tuesday, November 1, the kid stars of Matilda The Musical took part in the ceremony before the Actors Fund performance of their show at the Shubert Theatre.
Comparable to the well-known Gypsy Robe tradition, the Ziggy Bear's jacket will quickly garner multiple badges from all Broadway shows featuring children, and, when filled, each will be retired and displayed in the Actors Fund collection and replaced with a new jacket. In addition to the presentation of the badge to Ziggy Bear, every child in the cast will receive from the Actors Fund a unique pin, created and designed by Kelly Gonda, who also designed the bear itself.
The Matilda cast member invited to place her badge on Ziggy Bear was Talia Ryder, who was joined by her fellow cast members Ava Briglia, Willow McCarthy, Austyn Johnson, Brooklyn Nelson, Gavin Swartz, Serena Quadrato, Ian Saraceni, Meliki Hurd, and Trey Middleton. The ceremony also welcomed several Broadway veterans, including Fun Home's Sydney Lucas, Oscar Williams, and Zell Morrow, as well as The King and I's Jake Lucas, among others.