Let’s face the facts: The cycle of poverty in America is shamefully bolstered by corporate managers, who value the market more than the average worker’s well-being.
Joan Holden’s play “Nickel and Dimed” is based on the sociological non-fiction, bestseller “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich, about the author’s undercover odyssey into the world of a low-wage life. OutCast Productions opens the play at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6 at the Black Box Theater at the Whidbey Island Fairgrounds in Langley. The show runs through Saturday, March 21.
Can a middle-aged, middle-class woman survive when she suddenly has to make beds all day in a hotel and live on $7 an hour? Maybe. But one $7-an-hour job won’t pay the rent. She’ll have to do back-to-back shifts, as a chambermaid and a waitress. Ehrenreich’s book about her discoveries in the hardscrabble life of underpaid women in America is vivid and witty, yet always deeply sobering, and Holden’s script brings that sobering reality to life.
Director K. Sandy O’Brien maintains a comic lightness throughout, as the middle-aged Barbara stumbles around the country from one hard-knock job to another. Meanwhile, what is finally illuminated is the ultimate conclusion of Ehrenreich’s study: There is a dark shadow of oppression that continues to weigh heavily on the low-wage workforce of America.
The cast includes Eric Andersen, Sean Brennan, Jim Carroll, Judith Dankanics, Patricia Duff, Peggy Gilmer, Doug Kolb, Hannah Mack, Mona Newbauer and Julia Tewksbury (as Barbara).
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, March 6 to 21; at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15. Doors open one half hour before show time.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $14 for student/seniors.
The Black Box Theater is located at 819 Camano Ave. in Langley. Find out more at www.outcastproductions.net.