Department of Theatre to Present “Relaxed” Performance of Working

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on November 6, 2018, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University’s Theatre Department will be part of an international movement to make live performances inclusive and accessible by offering a “relaxed” performance of the upcoming musical, Working, Saturday, November 17 at 2 p.m. in the Smith-McFarland Theatre of the university’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, Normal and Marguerite streets, East Stroudsburg.

“Theatre is an art form that grew from public rituals which included all elements of society,” said Yoshinori Tanokura, associate professor and interim chair of the theatre department, “and we want to continue to be as inclusive as possible for today’s audiences.”

A “relaxed” performance is intended specifically to be sensitive to, and accepting of audience members who may benefit from a more stress-free environment, including (but not limited to) those with autistic spectrum conditions; anyone with sensory and communication disorders; or learning-disabled people.

At a relaxed performance house lights are often kept on or only dimmed slightly and strobe lights or other jarring light changes are not used. Music is also softened, and there are no loud or sudden sound effects.

There also is a more casual approach to the usual audience etiquette so that people who may need to move around or make involuntary sounds during a performance are free to do so.

Based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of the same name, Working was adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg. The musical features interviews with ordinary American workers that explore how people relate to their jobs and paints a fascinating picture of the core human truths that transcend professions.

Songs from Tony, Grammy and Academy-Award winning composers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell,) Lin-Manuel Miranda, and James Taylor; along with those of Mary Rogers Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, and Susan Birkenhead, combine with a book updated to reflect the contemporary workplace to create an extraordinary, genre-defining musical. The production is recommended for ages 12 and above.

For the special, “relaxed’ performance general admission is $10; senior citizens, faculty and staff (with ID), are $8; students (with ID) are $6; and youth, $4.

Tickets are available online in advance at esu.edu\theatretickets (credit cards only online). Remaining tickets are available at the box office one hour before curtain on performance dates (cash and checks only at the box office). For reservations or other information, please email esuarts@esu.edu or call 570-422-3483.


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