SART presents ‘WORKING: A Musical’ at Owen Theatre, July 12-29

Press release from Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre:

July 12-29: Southern Appalachian Repertory theatre presents WORKING: A Musical at Owen Theatre on the campus of Mars Hill University. SART’s production marks the WNC premiere of the updated script (2012) and score with music written by amazing composers including Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz, Hamilton’s Lin Manuel Miranda, and James Taylor.

Working: The Musical is a collection of extraordinary stories of ordinary lives Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, Working paints a vivid portrait of the men and women that the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the waitress, the millworker, the fireman, the mason, and the housewife, just to name a few. Working is a highly original look at the landscape of the American workplace, and how our careers inform and give meaning to our lives.

Several factors came into play in the selection of Working as SART’s musical production this year. This will the first full season in the renovated Owen Theatre, which adjoins the newly constructed Day Hall. The architect, John Legerton, had seen the MHU Theatre Arts Department’s 2009 production of Working and was so moved that he created a plaque that lists the names of every laborer who worked on Day Hall which reflects the “dignity of work” themes of the show. Working is the most technically challenging production of the season. The multimedia set design will incorporate projections with moving animation, video, and live graphics, a first for SART audiences. Designers: Cassidy Robbins (Sound), Richard Seagle (Set), Stephanie Busing(Multi-Media/Projections), Connor Harmsworth (Props), Deborah Austin(Costumes), and Andrew Zebroski(Lights/SFX). SART’s ongoing goal to expand the diversity of our audience will be well served by the themes of Working and the racial diversity of the cast

In order to better serve SART’s community and the entire WNC region, SART is partnering with several area non-profits during this production of Working. Through strategic partnerships with regional organizations, SART will conduct outreach programming to raise awareness of the changing labor force in the region, the breadth of employment and training opportunities currently available, and issues around living wages.

David Sheldon was selected through a competitive juried process in fall 2017 to create his piece called “Mars Cutter” for the Manufacturing Art Park on the Dr. Otis Duck greenway. This project highlights the relationship between artists and the manufacturing industry while also adding a public art program for Madison County. Visit for more of his story. Please join the cast of Working who will be performing for the unveiling of the piece, July 28th at 11:00 am.

Patrick Cash, the Public History Program Coordinator and Archives Associate at the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, is curating an exhibit entitled: “Where We Worked: the Place of Employment in Madison County”. This exhibit will showcase past and current photographs of places of employment for the workers of Madison County; examining changes in the local economy, social structure, and population of the area. The collection will be on exhibit in the Weizenblatt Gallery the week of July 12th.

Weizenblatt Gallery presents a summer exhibition titled “Art & Manufacturing” from June 11-August 10. The exhibition features The Bright Angle, a designer-maker collaboration, and showcases the relationship between art and the manufacturing industry. For more information visit The cast of Working will be performing at the opening reception with the Bright Angle founder Nick Moen, July 15th at 5:00 in the Weizenblatt Gallery.

“Trying to Get By: [Not] Making Ends Meet in North Carolina” documents stories of North Carolinians trying to survive in today’s low-wage service economy. This exhibit attaches a human face to today’s disquieting statistics about workers who lack paid vacations, health care, and paid leave, while being vulnerable to wage theft and abusive bosses. Just Economics will be also host a talk back/panel discussion about the housing crisis in WNC on July 22nd Owen Theatre. The exhibit will be displayed in the lobby of Day Hall on MHU campus.

Directed by Amanda Sayles and choreographed by Anthony Romeo, WORKING features a stellar cast of 10, playing over 34 characters. The cast includes: Shannon Dionne, Mario Pando-Harmon, Calum & Chloe Kramer, Delicia Palatema, Steven Isaac Rice, Beverly Todd, Timothy Wilds, and Lee & Natalie Wilson.

Working will play weekly: Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm. Tickets range from $10-$30, and they can be purchased by calling the box office (828.689.1239), or by visiting

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