Arts

Studs Terkel’s Musical ‘Working’ Highlights The Unsung Heroes Of Today’s Workforce

The musical "Working" explores the daily lives of customer service workers and the unsung heroes.
The musical "Working" explores the daily lives of customer service workers and the unsung heroes.
Credit Out of Box Theater

Out of Box Theatre closes its seventh season with the average-worker themed musical “Working.” The story is based off of Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers.

Terkel interviewed hundreds of everyday service workers about their jobs and what they enjoyed about them. Composer Stephen Schwartz wrote the book for the musical in 1978, but it only ran 24 performances on Broadway.

Schwartz is known for his musicals such as Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked. He decided to collaborate with other writers like Mary Rodgers, James Taylor, and Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, in order to revamp it.

In 2012, the musical explored the lives of 26 people from various professions. The show looks at how each person’s value transcends their professions. The new version is set in contemporary America and it gives the audience a rare glimpse at the actors and technicians “behind-the-scenes.”

City Lights’ host Lois Reitzes spoke with Out of Box Theater’s founder Carolyn Choe and director Kristin Storla about the performance.

“I think all of us want to have that sense of pride even in things we’re not really happy doing sometimes, but we want to have pride in it,” said Choe about the internal monologue each character has on stage.

“Working” will run from June 7-22 at Out of Box Theater in Marietta.