Edmonds Heights Performing Arts (EHPA) Advanced Musical Theatre this Friday, Jan. 12 kicks off the year with the opening of Working — A Musical at Edmonds Heights K-12. EHPA’s production of Working is using the new 2012 revised version of this powerful show, with both the script and score reflecting updates that bring the characters and their stories into the present-day.
According to an EHPA announcement, “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 Dorothy Pierce, Working features a cast of 18 including: Alex Matthews, Moriah Graves, Matthew Pullom, Peter Davies, Natasha Thompson, Katie Schnautz, Emilio Ceja, Leslie Smith, Grace Lutack, Sierra Johnson, Thomas Sterling, Ashley Butler, Emma Johnson, Jake Osborne-McKenna, Jurr Sterling, Marina Pierce, Jackie Sterling, Morgan Pullom and Natalie Smith.
“I can’t imagine a more timely piece of storytelling than Working,” says Pierce. ”When we are facing broad-based upheaval in our nation and widespread unemployment, I think it’s hugely important for us to be looking at how work shapes identity. We are looking at the “Average Joe.” A broad cross-section of American people are represented here, many of them part of the “invisible” working world.”
The 2012 revised version 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, the announcement said.
“Of course technology has changed many working environments,” Pierce continued, “which mean that details are different from those original conversations. But, when you 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. The creators of Working knew what they were doing – they allowed everyone a voice and those are the voices our students are using.” To quote Raj Chadra,Tech Support, a character in Working, “Thank you for asking.”
Working — A Musical will be performed Jan. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 13 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 online at www.EHshows.com or $10 at the door. Box office opens one-hour before curtain.
Edmonds Heights K-12 is located at 23200 100th Ave. W., Edmonds.