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Savannah Stage Company to present ‘Working: A Musical’

  • The Savannah Stage Company presentation of “Working” features six performers in the roll of 26 characters, capturing the honest voices of Americas as they struggle with the thankless nature of their jobs.
  • The Savannah Stage Company presentation of “Working” features six performers in the roll of 26 characters. Photos courtesy Savannah Stage Company.
  • The Savannah Stage Company presentation of “Working” features six performers in the roll of 26 characters, capturing the honest voices of Americas as they struggle with the thankless nature of their jobs.
 

Savannah Stage Company to present ‘Working: A Musical’

12 Jul 2017

Just about every job out there is covered by a song in “Working: A Musical,” which is being presented by Savannah Stage Company July 14 to 29 at Starlandia.

“We’ve been slaving away for the past couple of weeks on this one,” says Jayme Tinti, artistic director and cofounder of Savannah Stage Company, which is presenting the production. “The music of this show is the star of the play because it was written by so many different songwriters.

“Every song sounds different and it sounds of that world and so specifically about the job it is talking about. There are two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote ‘Hamilton.’

“There are beautiful classic songs written by James Taylor,” Tinti says. “This is so America. The music has been what has emerged as the star of the show here.”

“Working” captures the honest voices of Americans at work who struggle with dull, repetitive and often thankless chores in in their day-to-day lives.

The script was adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso from Studs Terkel’s’ 1974 book, with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg.

Terkel’s interviews with workers are paired with songs by Miranda, Taylor, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead and Stephen Schwartz.

“We are down at Starlandia in the Starland District, which has been home to rehearsals and where we’ve done shows this season,” Tinti says. “It’s so nice to be able to work in the neighborhood we live in. The feeling of being able to walk to rehearsals feels really nice.”

A small cast has a big job.

“There are six actors and two musicians who do have some speaking parts and who are very much incorporated into the play,” Tinti says. “They play 26 parts. There’s a scene where they’re in an office, then it transitions where everyone is working in a mill, then everyone is on a street corner listening to an organizer trying to unite people.

“We go to many, many locations. An actor may be an office worker, now all of a sudden they’re on a college campus, then they may be at a dinner table.

“Everyone has a life the entire time,” she says. “Everyone is on stage the entire time. That is very true to our company.”

Sets and costumes are simple.

“There are no major costume changes and no sets except for a couple of stools,” Tinti says. “That is really just what we need to tell this accessible story as beautifully and simply as we possibly can.”

Savannah Stage Company is now in its fifth year.

“This is our season of values,” Tinti says. “Our values are very important to us.

“Each show we are doing highlights one of those values. For this show, the value we are highlighting is accessibility.

“We are examining all walks of life,” she says. “It talks about the play being for the average workman.”

One song is about a nanny.

“That’s what I do when I’m not doing Savannah Stage Company,” Tinti says. “People who are going to be coming to see our play will see their own jobs reflected back at them. We are serving up a play that will resonate with our audience.

“There’s a waitress song. A good chunk of our audience are servers or have been servers, and here’s a song about a job they have done.

“There’s a song about being a housewife, a teenager who works in delivery, a song about a father and son,” she says. “Anyone who comes to see the show will have a connection to it. It doesn’t get any more relatable and accessible than that.”

The play is suitable for ages 16 and up.

“This is the first time Savannah Stage Company has had a play with spicy themes,” Tinti says. “One of the characters is a hooker.

“This is a good time for a date night and to leave the kids at home. It is exciting for our company to get the opportunity to do that.

“This one is so relevant in real life,” Tinti says. “These are real words of real people.”

IF YOU GO

What: Savannah Stage Company presents “Working: The Musical”

When: 8 p.m. July 14-15, 20-22, 28-29; 2 p.m. July 23

Where: The Space Station at Starlandia, 2436 Bull St.

Cost: $15 or pay what you can

Info: savannahstagecompany.com

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