Hope Summer Repertory Theatre kicks off its 46th season with “Working,” the six-time Tony Award-nominated musical based on Studs Terkel’s 1974 book chronicling the lives of the average American worker, on Friday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.
There will be additional performances on June 17, 21, 27 and 29; July 6, 26 and 29; and August 1, 8 and 11.
The hopes, dreams, joys, and concerns of the average working American are the focus of “Working,” which follows the daily narrative of unheralded workers as they demonstrate the value of the mundane. Audiences will see a day in the life of Mike Dillard, an ironworker who takes immense pride in his manual labor but is frustrated by the lack of recognition he receives for his simple, yet important, work. They will sit in on Rose Hoffman’s classroom as she reminisces about the “good old days” when kids would rise when the principal entered the room and find something constructive to do when the teacher stepped out.
Working celebrates what makes work meaningful for blue-, white-, pink- and gold-collar workers alike. As pointed out in the foreword of Terkel’s book, “Work is a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, ‘for daily meaning as well as daily bread.’”
Working is directed by Fred Tessler, who is entering his 24th season with the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. The creative team also includes Alex Thompson, music director; Joe Niesen, choreographer; Chaz Arnett Sanders, assistant choreographer; Brian Bembridge, scenic designer; Stephen Sakowski, lighting designer; Michelle Bombe, costume designer; Amanda Were, sound designer; Jonathan Berg-Einhorn, props master; John Fortunato, stage manager; and Colleen Accardo and Samantha Castle, assistant stage managers.
The 12-member cast features Mischa Aravena, Tom Bengston, Connor Bernard, Rachel Carreri, Chip Duford, Donna Federico, Madeline Jones, Kristina Kastrinelis, Rakeem Lawrence, Olivia Lehnertz, Ben Love and Nikki Savitt.
Individual ticket prices for “Working” range from $28 to $35 for balcony/orchestra seating and $32 to $40 for mezzanine seating. Season tickets for this year’s four main-stage productions are also available. Tickets may be purchased either at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.), which is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890; or the ticket office in the DeWitt Center (141 E. 12th St.), which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to intermission.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.