“Working 2017” playing at The Whitefire Theatre
The Actors’ Gym in association with Whitefire Theatre, presents the world premiere of “Working 2017.”
Bobby Moresco, the Academy Award-winning writer, director and producer takes on the legendary Studs Terkel’s 1974 oped novel “Working.” This iconic non-fiction novel explored what work meant to different people in different circumstances in the US in the 70s. Poor, rich, white, brown, black, the maid, the valet, the executive. The original novel asked existential questions and sought emotional truth. With “Working 2017,” Mr Moresco brings us into the present day, adding new characters and, this time, focusing on the sadly relevant slide from middle to working class.
This could all go very wrong. It could be boring, it could be trite, it could feel like an excuse to pretend to play around with a subject so important that it’s on everybody’s mind. But it doesn’t. No, not at all. ”Working 2017” transcends all that is ‘theatrical’ and ‘conceived’ and it brings us all together, in a room, to listen to these epic and truthful and achingly real stories that are the sad and beautiful and always totally true mirrors to all our lives.
There’s a truck driving woman whose struggle to prove her worth to herself and to her late father brings her to the sweet, but hard fought epiphany that she’s perfect and needs nothing to prove that to anyone. A young waitress whose desperation to live by her own rules brings her perilously close to disaster. A rookie firefighter whose instinct to run leaves him alive but alone. An aging hospital orderly whose pride in his life humbles those around him. A man whose mental health has plagued him all his life finally finding solace and relief. A neighborhood hairdresser, always wishing she could have a ‘bigger’ life realizing the profundity of her contribution to her world. A mother whose autistic son teaches her that gifts might not always come neatly wrapped. A writer whose first real job on the dodgy, pornographic edges of the entertainment industry prove to her that if she can write ‘that stuff’ well, she can write anything. The incarcerated drug dealer whose fall from grace left a mother broken and alone, touches us deeply with his regret. And finally a steel worker, so tired of the shafting of the American worker and the destruction of the unions, he calls for us all to rise up and stand together against the money machine. And, as an audience, we do.
Mr Moresco, with the assistance of the actors, writers and the directors of these wonderful and, at times, heartbreaking pieces, has given us momentary windows into the worlds of these fine characters. He has allowed the actors to imbue such a clarity of spirit and a compellingly vivid life force into each and every line that the audience is left quite breathless.
With the entire cast on stage throughout as they watch each other work, this marvelous play feels as intimate and moving to them as it is to us. They have crafted this experience together, being guided and supported and the results are so incredibly good that to attend should be considered absolutely compulsory.
This level of excellence is bravely and exhaustingly wrought and must be applauded and encouraged. You’d be a fool to miss it in fact.
The actors are all familiar faces, many of them have been working actors for decades and some not so long, but they are all just so brilliant it’s hard to come up with another adjective…phenomenal maybe?
It’s not a long run and it’s only on Thursday nights. Think of it as extremely exclusive. So get a move on and buy your tickets. I cannot recommend this play highly enough…really…I’m telling everyone I know to see this extraordinary play. Bravo!
The Actors’ Gym in association with Whitefire Theatre presents the world premiere of “Working 2017”
Conceived by Bobby Moresco, developed and directed by members of Bobby Moresco’s Actors’ Gym
Produced by Bryan Rasmussen, Bobby Moresco, Will Clevinger and Elliot Smith
Robbie Mangiardi, Amanda Moresco, Thomas Polanski, Ryan Surratt, Howie Skora, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Krissy Shook, Beverly Leech, Anne DeSalvo, Pauline Schantzer, Goya Robles
Bobby Moresco, Bryan Rasmussen, Javier Molina, Ryan Surratt, Jessica Moresco, Bob Costanzo, Emma Barrett, Anne DeSalvo, Julia Hoff, Robert Mangiardi, Larry A. McLean
Bobby Moresco, Bryan Rasmussen, William Clevinger, Elliot Smith
Lighting Design – Derrick McDaniel
Graphic Design – David Svengalis
Technical Director – David Svengalis
Publicist – Nora Feldman