Perpich News

Perpich Arts High School presents Studs Terkel’s “Working”

March 15, 2021

Perpich Arts High School students presented the musical Working by Studs Terkel on March 11, 12, and 13, 2021. The students performed live to a limited in-person audience and also live-streamed the performances for an audience at home. Most of their preparation took place virtually during distance learning with only a few opportunities of on-campus rehearsals when Perpich returned to hybrid learning.

Tory Peterson, theater instructor, said, “There was a lot of work done in the week of on-campus tech and rehearsals. High stress but students showed real professionalism in focus and work ethic in getting the work done for Working. It was wonderful doing LIVE theater again and hope we can continue to do so!!!”

Izzy Thostenson (Theater 2021) played the roles of Rex Winship, the hedge fund manager, and Delores, the waitress. She said, “I would describe Working as the most difficult show I have ever done – everyone involved definitely put the ‘work’ in Working! However, it was also the most rewarding show I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. There were real characters that real people could connect to – it told the audience that they weren’t alone in feeling stuck. It was amazing to be the vessel that carried that message to our audience, and to have the opportunity to bring that connection to life.”

Working is a musical with a book by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, music by Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, and James Taylor, and lyrics by Schwartz, Carnelia, Grant, Taylor, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Susan Birkenhead. The musical is based on the Studs Terkel book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (1974), which has interviews with people from different regions and occupations.

“This [play], being about work, is by its very nature, about violence–to the spirit as well as the body. It is about a search, too, for the daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash…in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” – Studs Terkel, from Introduction to Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

Congratulations to all the artists and to their instructors for a great performance!