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Theater Students Show What They’re “Working” With

As the final weeks of UT’s spring semester come to a close, the hype for the spring musical begins. “Working” is a uniquely formatted show based on a novel of interviews with American workers by Studs Terkely and will be performed in Falk Theater at 8 p.m. April 23 to 25, and at 2 p.m. on April 26.

According to UT Director and Associate Professor Michael Staczar, “The show presents a variety of working class people, all sharing the ups and downs of their jobs and defining not only their unique experiences, but their hopes and dreams as well.”

The cast consists of nine students: junior Samuel Boatwright, junior Mikaela Braken, senior Emanuel Carrero, junior Louis Lage, senior Emily Peduto, sophomore Mollie Posnik, freshman Brian Stanco, junior Jessica Stone, and sophomore Gershom Vacarizas. These nine talented actors alone will portray the more than different 25 roles in the production.

The working class people portrayed in the musical range from a housewife to a trucker to a corporate executive, so there’s a variety of characters for everyone in the audience to enjoy. The stories of each character are intertwined, each one connecting in some way with the character that performs before them.

“Strangely enough, even cast members have mentioned that there are a number of characters in the show they recognize as someone in their family: a father or mother, an uncle, a cousin, and so on,” Staczar said.

While the show is short, running for only 90 minutes with no intermission, the cast and technical crew have been working on “Working” throughout the semester and are excited to finally have an audience to perform for.

Junior Makela Braken is a Musical Theater major who has been working hard to capture several of the characters in “Working.” 

“We have rehearsed this show all semester and we could perform it in our sleep, but once you put an audience in the seats the show takes on a whole new energy,” Braken said. “It becomes so much more exciting to perform because the actors on stage can hear and feel the reactions from everyone sitting in the theater and it really drives the show.”

“Working” includes songs by Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, Micki Grant, Craig Carnelia, Mary Rodgers, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. With such a wide variety of composers involved in the production, there’s a little something for everyone.

“You will hear every style of music from country and pop to standard musical theatre because each song in the show was written by a different composer,” Braken said. “The show is serious and funny all at the same time.”

Most importantly, the musical gives the audience a glimpse into the perhaps unfamiliar world working class life. Staczar hopes that, through watching the show, students will gain a respect for the work their parents and other family members put in to ensure a better life for them.

“It is that sense of identification and the realization that this is what they do/did, and they did it to for me—their child—to be sure that I would have the things that they couldn’t, or to insure that my life would be better than theirs,” Staczar said.

Kara Delemeester can be reached at

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