Review: SCAB at Premiere Stages Mesmerizes and Brings a Relevant Labor Dilemma to the Stage

Review: SCAB at Premiere Stages

By: Sep. 13, 2022
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Review: SCAB at Premiere Stages Mesmerizes and Brings a Relevant Labor Dilemma to the Stage

"I'm sorry you have to lose our job so I can get mine." By Eduardo in Scab

Premiere Stages continues their successful season with playwright, Gino Diiorio's poignant, mesmerizing new play, Scab that was honored as a finalist from the 2020/21 Premiere Play Festival. Superbly directed by the theatre's Producing Artistic Director, John J. Wooten, the two-hander features the acting talents of John Anthony Torres and Monica Wyche. It will be on stage through September 25th at the Bauer Boucher Theatre Center on the main campus of Kean University. Spread the word! Scab is the perfect example of why we go to the theatre, to be informed and entertained.

The story is set in a factory in the northeastern United States. Gilda is a 58 year-old single mother struggling to make ends meet. The unionized food container plant where she has worked for 25 years is shutting down and outsourcing the manufacturing to Mexico. Gilda accepts the company's payment to train a Mexican worker, Eduardo for the position of Foreman Assistant in his home country. Eduardo is a young family man, anxious to learn and do a good job. The factory's union workers consider him a scab and Gilda a traitor for teaching the job. Operating the machinery proves to be arduous and at times, dangerous. With just a week for Gilda to complete Eduardo's training, cultural differences, the language barrier, and rising tensions threaten to upend the process.

Monica Wyche as Gilda and John Anthony Torres as Eduardo are so convincing in their roles that you feel that Scab is unfolding in real time. They master their characters' feelings along with the play's drama, action, and well-placed humor.

Captivating scenes include Gilda and Eduardo meeting each other for the first time; Eduardo proudly showing Gilda pictures of his children and wife; Gilda recounting the experience of starting her childbirth contractions on the job; Eduardo describing his father's automotive work in Mexico; Gilda telling Eduardo her impressions of a Bruce Springsteen show; Gilda giving Eduardo his final evaluation; and Gilda reviewing the safety procedures with Eduardo on the factory floor.

Review: SCAB at Premiere Stages Mesmerizes and Brings a Relevant Labor Dilemma to the Stage

The design team has done a fantastic job of setting the authentic scene for Scab. The team includes scenic design by Bethanie Wampol; costume design by Karen Lee Hart; lighting design by Zack Gage; sound design by Nathan Leigh; and props by Shannon White. Dale Smallwood is the production stage manager.

Scab is a particularly significant play as it addresses current changes in the labor market and smartly presents multiple perspectives. Make it a part of your September entertainment schedule.

Scab runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. Performances are on Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 pm, Saturdays at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $35 standard, $25 for senior citizens and Kean alumni and staff, $20 for patrons with disabilities and $15 for students. There are discounts for groups of ten or more apply. To make reservations or to order a season brochure, please call the box office at 908-737-7469 or visit Premiere Stages at

Photo Credit: Mike Peters


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