Spring musical brings new talent to drama department


Carina Bixby

The cast of “Working” rehearse the song “All the Livelong Day,” acting as everyday citizens. While some cast members have a more specific role, during large ensemble pieces the whole cast works together as to create a choreographed scene. Pictured is Serrein Sabbah, Taylor Reddick, Hunter Essex, Malu Rivera, Briza De La Cruz, Julia Owens and Akhila Narayanan.

In preparation for their upcoming debut, the cast of this year’s musical practices every day after school as they sing and dance their way across the theatre stage. “Working” is based on a book written by Studs Terkel and was first performed in 1977. Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the show is based on a series of interviews done by real people, and because of this, it has no leading roles. Instead, the production follows many different characters as they go through their daily routines.

“‘Working’ is about the plight of regular people,” junior Akhila Narayanan said. “There’s no outlandish plot, and it’s much more relatable to people now. There’s still really interesting parts and comic relief and good songs, but there’s also a lot of reality to it.”

“Working” is a production entirely new to the drama department, and it allows for a cast of 35 actors.

“I’m really excited about the ensemble aspect,” said the director of the production, Kevin Bliss. “A lot of folks who were relegated to a minor role in the past now have their own role.”

Many students new to the drama department were drawn to this production because of the large cast and the ability to focus on a variety of characters, which allows for everyone to get involved.

“I don’t think I would’ve thought of auditioning had they not done this specific musical,” Narayanan said.

“Working” cycles through several scenes, each connecting to the other by way of the various relationships that the characters have with each other. Despite this fact, sophomore Ian Pozen said, the musical still feels cohesive and easy to follow.

“Every monologue or song has its place for a reason, in that it makes you feel more for a certain character, makes you hate certain ones less,” Pozen said.

“Working” also presents perhaps the most diverse cast that the drama department has ever hosted. The musical calls for a number of roles that are designed for people of specific racial groups, and when selecting the show, Bliss said, “I wanted something that would help bring diversity to this program.”

However, given various levels of experience as well as limited auditionees, there are some roles being portrayed by actors who are of a different race than the script initially intended. Narayanan’s character, a cleaning woman trying to provide for her daughter, was originally written for a black woman though Narayanan herself is Indian.

“I still think the department is doing a better job [with diversity] than in the past,” Narayanan said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

While some roles in “Working” are being portrayed by actors of a different race or gender than originally intended, every actor will have the opportunity to perform in the choir or in the ensemble, allowing for a large variety of people onstage at any given time.

“For a high school show, it’s really inclusive,” sophomore Gabriela Mootz said. “It includes a bunch of diversity, not just with jobs and careers, but with people of a different race, ethnicity, color and religion. No matter who you are, this musical touches on everything.”


Showtimes at the Northshore Performing Arts Center

May 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 from 7 to 9 p.m.

May 11 from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more information, check out the Inglemoor drama website.