Students Sing In Spring

Alexandria Smith, Copy Editor

Students are gearing up to begin rehearsals for the MU Players’ spring production of Working: The Musical.

“Working: The Musical”,is based on the novel by Studs Terkel and adapted by Stephen Schwartz, known for his work with Wicked and Godspell. The revamped production is making its debut on Broadway – and on the stage of Lemmond Theater.

The musical explores the lives of people in a variety of occupations ranging from school teacher to flight attendant, corporate businessman to prostitute in an interview monologue style that could be compared to last spring’s “The Laramie Project,” also directed by

“Basically, what he [Studs Terkel] did was interview hundreds of people about their jobs. It’s basically like no holds barred, warts-and-all interviews, and it’s in their real voices. It’s a narrative basically them going off on their jobs and different things that they do,” said Rock. “They’re true, but there are themes to them. You know, like he interviewed more than one paper boy and there are themes about delivery service and people in the food service. A lot of the interviews we use in this show are actually coming from the book.”

Rock will employ the talents of choreographer Melinda Rothfuss and Chamber Singer director Jennifer Hunter as she preps the cast of two men and five women.

Junior English major R.J. Barna said he looks forward to finding out what new experiences the show will hold for him and his fellow cast mates.

“It’s a little bit more dramatic than I was expecting,” said Barna. “From the little bits of script that I read [during auditions] like the one song I saw was called ‘Lovin’ Al,’ and it’s about this dude who’s a valet parker or something and women love him and sing little songs about him. So, it’s like, ‘Okay, it’s cute, fun, 70’s kind of retro musical,’ and actually reading the dialogue it’s like, ‘Ohhh, there are prostitutes. That’s interesting.’”

Barna believes the show will prevent challenges that the cast will embrace.

“I think the hardest parts are going to be those that are kind of general, mundane occupations,” said Barna. “Like, I had to read the metal worker, and just from reading that little part about the metal worker, you can tell he has daddy issues and he’s not really happy with himself – like there’s this undertone of somber depression. But damaged characters are interesting characters.”

The production includes Barna, Kaila Augustine,Elizabeth Jackson, Jeff Kelly, Amy Koch, Grace Riker and Kaitlyn Tothen.  It will premiere in Lemmond Theater later this spring.

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