March 28, 2012: The Keegan Theatre’s musical season kicks off on April 14 with the opening of WORKING-A Musical at the Church Street Theater. Keegan’s production of WORKING marks the professional DC premiere of the 2009 version of this powerful show, with both the script and score reflecting updates that bring the characters and their stories into the present-day.
The hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American are the focus of this unique, extraordinary musical. That the everyday lives of ‘common’ men and women should be so compelling and moving will surprise and inspire anyone who has ever punched a time clock.”
Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, WORKING paints a vivid portrait of the men and women the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the waitress, the millworker, the mason, and the housewife, just to name a few. With music written by a slate of amazing composers that include James Taylor, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Stephen Schwartz, WORKING is a highly original look at the landscape of the American workplace, and how our careers inform and give meaning to our lives.
Directed by Shirley Serotsky, WORKING features a stellar cast of 14 including: Sherry Berg, Priscilla Cuellar, Tia Dolet, Tina Ghandchilar, Mike Kozemchak, John Loughney, Jane Petkofsky, Meredith Richard, Jennifer Richter, Manuel Ayala Sapelli, Dan Sonntag, RaMond Thomas, Mick Tinder, and Dan Van Why.
“I can’t imagine a more timely piece of story-telling than WORKING,” says Serotsky. ”At a time when employment, or the lack thereof, continues to make the daily headlines–I think it’s hugely important for us to be looking at how work shapes identity. Because of course we must ask: what does it do to the human psyche when you can’t find work?” The 2009 update of WORKING pulls these questions sharply into focus, while still using Terkel’s interviews from the late 1960s and early 1970s almost exclusively as source material. “When you dig deeper than the technology and the terminology,” Serotsky continues, “which has of course changed greatly since those original conversations–and look instead at the fears, the desires, the joys and disappointments of the people Terkel talked to–they don’t sound dated at all. Terkel was giving an authentic voice to the 99% before we even knew what the 99% was. And the composers involved in WORKING, well–they allowed everyone to sing.”
Next up at Keegan: a special engagement of Spring Awakening opens on June 2 and runs through July 8, 2012.
The press opening for WORKING – A Musical is April 16, 2012 at 8:00pm.
The Keegan Theatre is in its 15th season and is the resident company at Church Street Theater in Dupont Circle.