Pittsburgh Public Theater Stages SWEAT
Set in Reading, PA, Lynn Nottage's play tells the story of what happens to a group of friends when their union jobs are in jeopardy.
Told with powerful realism and sharp humor, Pittsburgh Public Theater presents the Pittsburgh premiere of Sweat, by Lynn Nottage, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Directed by Justin Emeka, Sweat runs November 8 - December 9, 2018 at the O'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater's home in the heart of Downtown's Cultural District. For tickets call 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the Box Office.
Sweat begins with a quick scene in 2008 where two young men, Chris (Ananias J. Dixon) and Jason (Patrick Cannon), meet their parole officer (Monteze Freeland). The play then jumps to 2000 in a bar where Stan (Tony Bingham) is pouring drinks for his regulars: Cynthia (Tracey Conyer Lee), Jessie (Michelle Duffy), and Tracey (Amy Landis). For years these best friends have spent their days together on the factory floor at Olstead's Steel Tubing, and many nights partying at this after work hangout. Also around the bar are Cynthia's estranged husband, Brucie (Kevin Mambo) and the busboy, Oscar (Jerreme Rodriguez).
But soon the status quo at Olstead's begins to erode and changes at the plant cause a rift among the longtime friends. It's also time to renegotiate the union contracts and the company is pushing for deep concessions. As the play speeds forward, Nottage ratchets up the tension and by the end she pulls all the story's threads together in an electrifying conclusion.
The design team for Sweat is Michael Schweikardt (Scenic), Robert C.T. Steele (Costumes), Sherrice Mojgani (Lighting), and Zach Moore (Sound). Rick Sordelet is the Fight Director, Fred Noel is the Production Stage Manager, and Adrienne Wells is the Assistant Stage Manager. Casting is by Pat McCorkle.
Nottage researched Sweat through extensive interviews with manufacturing employees in Reading, PA. As she gathered their very human stories, she also noted the shift from industrial to service economy in the United States. When the Pulitzer Committee awarded their 2017 prize to Sweat, they described the play as, "A nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American Dream." Other plays by Nottage include Mlima's Tale; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Ruined (Pulitzer Prize); Intimate Apparel; Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine; Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por'knockers; POOF!
For tickets call 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the O'Reilly Theater Box Office.