Studs Terkel’s Working the Musical Opens July 22

Working the musical
Photo credit: Robert A. Dumon – Pictured Bethany Kenyon, Cora Chadwick, Jenn Wiggs

Celebrates American Workers in Their Own Words

Rivertowne Players are Working on a special project and Director John Van Dyke is leading the way.  It is special because it comes directly from those people whose story is told. Over 40 years ago, in 1974, acclaimed author, Studs Terkel interviewed over 100 working people in America and wrote his book, Working.  His subtitle explains it, “What People Do all Day and How They Feel About What They Do”. He talked to people from waitresses to business executives, parking lot attendants, garbage men, to baseball players.  In his conversations he found the voice of America.  Shortly after the publication of the book, it was adapted for stage as Working, the Musical.

Van Dyke and his cast and crew bring you the stories of these working people in their own words taken from the interviews. This is indeed a hard working cast of 7 as they will portray 22 characters.  The cast includes: Cora Chadwick, Joseph Horton, Bethany Kenyon, Betsy McCandless, Jake Lilly, Jen Wiggs, and Director, John Van Dyke. There is even more work for the crew which includes Director, Van Dyke, Assistant Director Jane Maulucci, Producers Terry Daniels and Lori Favre, Musical Director Brandon Banks, Choreographer Roxanne Klepper Wheeler, Set Designer Blake Wiggs, Dance Captain Susan Bergman,  and Scott Johnson, Frank Eason and Ethan Goeke on Sound and Light Design.

Director, John Van Dyke explains, “I chose Working as a project because I think it is an important and thought-provoking show that speaks to the times we are living in. When I was growing up my parents and my grandparents often spoke of the difficult and often thankless and low status jobs they had to do to raise a family and get by in the world. It was their sacrifice; a badge of honor that they wore with pride. Today, we live in a fast paced world of technology, higher expectations and immediate gratification. No one wants to be stuck in a low wage, mundane job.  In my opinion it is these ordinary Americans working these jobs that make the country work. They deserve our recognition, our gratitude and our respect.”

The Rivertowne Players prepared Working, The Musical from both the original 1974 and the updated 2012 versions.  Many people put their hands to work on this project.  Please put it on your calendar to remember all those working folks who make America what it is today.

Working, The Musical opens at the Masonic Theatre at 516 Hancock St. July 22, 2016 and will run July 23, 29, 30; August 5 & 6 at 8:00pm and July 24 & 31 at 3:00pm.  Tickets are available at Bank of the Arts, 317 Middle Street, 252-638-2577 and on line at  For more information go to

Submitted by: Kathy Morrison, Rivertowne Players