Jesuit Drama Department Presents Working: The Musical


The Jesuit Drama Department returns to the stage to present Working, a musical by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Fasco. Working is an opportunity for many actors to rehearse together in person with a large cast for the first time since last February when Jesuit produced Something Rotten.

Based on a collection of interviews with the American people, Working explores the lives of many ordinary Americans and their jobs. Junior Adriana Bobenrieth plays Kate, a stay-at-home mother who laments about the stereotypes of being a “housewife.”

“Working is a show created from the work experiences of people from all different walks of life brought together in a really compelling and emotional way,” Bobenrieth said. “I think the most important takeaway from the show is a sense of connection, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Working paints a picture of a large variety of workers, ranging from a millworker to a fashion intern. Many cast members, such as junior Ellie Gianola, portray characters based on Portland residents that were interviewed in the weeks leading up to the show. For her role, Gianola interviewed a local principal, who speaks of her struggles to balance her work home life as a working mother .

“My favorite part of the show has been the local aspect,” Gianola said. “Many of the monologues incorporated in this show are the actual words of real people in our community. I have really enjoyed gathering these stories and turning them into parts of the show. These are stories that have never been told before, and I am excited to share them with an audience.”

The cast, made up of 32 students, has been rehearsing in-person together for a little more than a month.Sophomore Elena Dinguis, playing a local fashion intern, describes how much fun she’s had during rehearsals.

“My favorite part [of the process] has always been being able to get together with all my friends for a couple [of] hours and do the things I love,” Dinguis said. “ Singing together in that big group has been especially amazing as we haven’t been able to do that for a while because of Covid.”

Audience members of Working can expect to see a show compiled of various monologues, and a select number of cast members sing songs to represent the lives of their characters. 

“I am definitely excited for the audience to see all the songs [in the show],” Bobenrieth said. “The songs in this show are so beautifully written, and we’ve got incredibly talented people performing them. Plus, due to the style of the show, there are songs from so many genres and styles, so there is truly something for everyone.”

Although Working is technically a show with no plot-line, the show captures the connection between separate stories by demonstrating the similarities between each character.

“To me, Working is about coming together despite whatever difference we or our jobs may have,” Dinguis said. “Between each monologue or song, there’s something that connects them…you can connect a housewife to a millworker or an office worker to a fast-food cashier. Despite how different these jobs sound, they all have something in common that brings them together, that they can relate to.” 

 Gianola also finds the aspect of connection in Working to be very impactful.

“I think the most important takeaway from this show is the importance of perspective,” said Gianola. “Working shows that even though we have many different perspectives and backgrounds, we all work together to create one community.” 

Working is to be performed from April 30 to May 2, at 7 PM on Friday and Saturday and 2 PM on Sunday. Although in-person tickets have already sold out, there are still tickets available to audience members choosing to watch a live stream of the production here.