Catawba's Production of "Working" Exalts the Working Class through Song
April 9, 2010
"I did the job, I was the one, everyone should have something to point to. Some way to be tall in the crowd. Proud." These words taken from the play, "Working," emphasize the fact that America was built on the backs of the working class.
"Working," based on the book by Studs Terkel and adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, highlights and exemplifies the plights and pleasures of real working-class people. "Working" consists entirely of monologues and songs taken from stories complied by Studs Terkel about working people, and how they felt about their jobs.
In these trying economical times, it becomes easy to lose sight of the importance of the working class, and the need to take pride in the work that they do. This musical helps remind audiences to remember the importance of those people who work in everyday jobs. Like the characters highlighted in the show, people such as steel workers, waitresses, socialites, housewives, a CEO, cleaning ladies, factory workers, and other jobs who keep society from collapsing. There is no protagonist, and there is no antagonist; only real people telling their stories, in this case, through song.
Along with the idea of the working people working, co-directors Beth Homan and Carrie Foster will deliver a glimpse into the working world of theater by having actors transform themselves into character before the audience’s eyes. Drawing from the ideas and teachings of Bertolt Brecht, who maintains that theater is meant to be theatrical, Homan and Foster will highlight that actors are also members of the working class even though they work outside of the normal constraints of the working class.
Despite the fact that "Working" was written in 1976, the values, opinions, and ideas offered remain applicable to the present-day. Anyone who has held a job can identify with the characters in the show, and with songs like "Traffic Jam," audience members will find themselves empathizing with the characters as they tell their stories.
With songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, and James Taylor, the music and monologues often intertwine together with flawless execution. The cast delivers a wonderful, heartfelt, sometimes upbeat, but always poignant performance.
Crew members include Catawba alumnus John Stafford, musical director; junior Carrie Foster of Baltimore, Md., co-director; sophomore Maggie Truxell of Cherry Hill, N.J., stage manager; junior Mara Stewart of Avon, Ind., and sophomore Adam Stolzenberg of Cornelius, N.C., assistant stage managers; junior Carrie Harris of Ashville, N.C., costume designer; senior Amanda Lederer of Sarasota, Fla., assistant lighting designer; sophomore Vaughn Pollman of Oakland Park, Kansas, master electrician; and Chris Herring of Oakboro, N.C., props master.
Cast members include junior Cassie Bell of Leonardtown, Md.; junior Shanna Locklair of Lewes, Del.; senior Matt Patrick of Trinity, Fla.; senior Eleanor Withrow of Abingdon, Md.; junior Zach Roe of Connelly Springs, N.C.; junior Chris Clowers of Whitefish Bay, Wis.; junior Dustin Sullivan of Monroe, N.C.; sophomore Quinn McRae of Hendersonville, N.C.; freshman Kara Procell of Bel Air, Md.; junior Mary Alice Nichols of Conyers, Ga.; sophomore Canaan Cox of Hendersonville, N.C.; freshman Leana Guzman of Charlotte, N.C.; freshman Sara Coon of Dallas, Texas; junior Christine Plough of Mathews, N.C.; junior Michael Innis of Charlotte, N.C.; and Ryan Glidewell of Atlanta, Ga.
Catawba College’s production of "Working" opens in Hedrick Little Theater Wednesday, April 14 at 6:55 p.m. and runs from Thursday April 15 through Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens and non-Catawba students. Group discounts are available. For more details, contact the Catawba College theatre box office at (704) 637-4481, or buy your tickets online.