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A Reading of Lynn Nottage's SWEAT

There is a fantastic immediacy and rawness that happens to a room when a play is being read out loud. There is nothing between the audience and the text -- no costumes, props, or sets. The informality of the moment gives the audience permission to relax and listen and hear a play in a detailed way they don’t experience with a fully staged production.

I found an strong online public reading from Salt Lake City of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Sweat. The director is Richard Scharine. He is a Professor Emeritus in Theatre and an Adjunct Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. The video captures the unrefined intimacy in the performances. The kind of intimacy that can only happen at a read - thru. I wish more theatres invited audiences to witness their table reads. I’d buy that ticket!

Playwright Lynn Nottage

SWEAT synopsis: The plight of the American working class.

“The play portrays a meeting between a parole officer and two ex-convicts, and three women who were childhood friends and had worked in the same factory. The action takes place in a fictional bar in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Nottage shifts in time, switching scenes and showing events of eight years earlier, from the signing of NAFTA to the financial crisis of 2008. The play also examines the disintegration of friendship, after two of the women – one white, one black – apply for the same management job. The latter character gets the position. But soon the company moves jobs to Mexico. The trade union goes on strike, and company management locks out the workers. The management/worker division begins to separate the friends, and racial tensions separate them further.” -- Wikipedia

Enjoy the read!

Sweat reading : act one

Sweat reading : act two

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