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The cast of Working. Pictured are (front row, from left) Amy Curtis, Emily Goldstein, Rachael Milikin, Arye Bhide; (back row, from left) Ryann Jordan, Ijeoma Odunze, Andrew Archer, Joshua Swasey.
Working. Not only is it an indisputable necessity in adult life, but also the title of Westbury Christian’s upcoming musical. Adapted by Stephen Schwartz, composer and lyricist of Wicked, and Nina Faso and inspired by the literary work of the same name by Studs Terkel, Working dives into the lives of 23 American workers. Each musical number - including some written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and star of Hamilton - gives a glimpse into the mind of the character. The authenticity that comes from displaying real people's’ lives and truths is what makes this musical so captivating.
The set of Working at Westbury Christian School, which opens Nov. 8.
I asked Mrs. Duran Hays, the lead director of the WCS production of Working, why she selected this musical. She explained to me a desire to use the musical as a way to get the audience’s “wheels turning.” She hopes that the performance will inspire members of the audience to take to heart the questions that the characters are facing, including “Am I fulfilling my passions?“ and “Does my occupation define who I am?” Mrs. Duran Hays explained that this musical is an examination of the emphasis society puts on jobs. Occupations should not be a means to an end, nor be focused solely on profit. A person’s job should be their calling; how they help to benefit society.
Fitting with the theme, Mrs. Duran Hays is employing a Brechtian-style performance, where the curtains are stripped away to reveal the moving parts of the musical. With blessings from Stephen Schwartz himself, the musical is set to open on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. on the WCS stage. I know my classmates would love for you to come out and support them. “Break a leg,” thespians.