Named "What To Watch" by the Times Square Chronicles
and "Best of Off Off Broadway" by Broadway World
by Lynn Nottage
Ripple For Change Series
Live on Zoom February 27, 2021(7pm) and February 28, 2021 (3pm) - EASTERN TIME
Streaming via YOUTUBE
thru February 28-March 3, 2021
TSP Online Stage
To benefit The Fortune Society
Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, SWEAT tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
This play is being presented as a benefit for The Fortune Society. Founded in 1967, The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration. Their vision is to foster a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated will thrive as positive, contributing members of society. Click to Donate.
Synopsis for SWEAT:
Content Warning: Strong language, drug references, some suggested violence
SWEAT is a 2015 play by American playwright Lynn Nottage. It won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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. Variety quotes the bartender, Stan, as warning the other characters that "You could wake up tomorrow and all your jobs are in Mexico", to which the characters respond with lethargy and disbelief. Variety described Nottage as going into "the heart of working-class America". Reviews of the play have described the characters as representing blue-collar workers who voted in Donald Trump as president.
The play also examines the disintegration of a 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.
“Engrossing, empathetic virtual production...The excellent cast absorbingly conveys the intensities of the working-class Americans' relationships, anxieties, and struggles while humanizing without shying away from their characters' rougher edges.” —John R. Ziegler and Leah Richards, Thinking Theater NYC
“This production is supreme in its production and timely in its message. By far it is the best Zoom production I have seen so far. SWEAT is a glance at the past, a confirmation of the present, and probably a prediction for the future. Quite an accomplishment!” —Laurie Lawson, Electronic Link
“This is an amazing Pulitzer Prize winning play by Lynn Notage that tells the story of how America was turning its back on hard workers in late 90’s thru early 2000’s. Check the theatre’s website for tickets. You will see fine acting digitally to tell this sad tale.” —Karen Nowosad, Let's Go To The Theater
“Some of the physical action has to be described rather than seen like a Shakespearean play but the emotions are still pretty raw. Especially when delivered by this exceptional cast. The Seeing Place never disappoints even if the people in power [in Sweat] do."
—Eva Heinemann, Hi Drama!
“Having seen the play on Broadway, it was nice to revisit this via streaming. The camera work, direction, lighting and sound are superior. The acting is top notch. Nothing is lost in this transfer from stage to stream."
—Laura Deni, Broadway to Vegas
“All nine of the actors in this play work together remarkably well (especially given that this is done in a virtual conference call format)...I truly admire what benefit productions like this one seek to accomplish. It’s so effortless nowadays to become myopic about our own lives and forget how other people live. I believe that if more people watched eye opening shows like this, maybe we could live in a more respectful world where differences make us beautiful, not wrong."
—Lindsey Pommerenck, MD Theatre Guide
“The Seeing Place Theater Company, unable, of course, to perform conventionally during pandemic-mandated restrictions, adapted the play into a surprisingly effective remote production, which was live-Zoomed last weekend. The “surprisingly effective” label is not directed toward the cast, whose neck-up acting was outstanding from the start. Under Brandon Walker’s sensitive, tech-savvy direction, and seen throughout in separated close-ups, all the actors found the sweet spot between stage and screen technique, neither over-emoting nor under-playing the earthy text. No; my surprise was toward how well the play held up without the physicality that marked it off- and then on-Broadway in 2016-17... the activity and interactions were clear in the dialogue and in tightly edited Zoom-box transitions."
—Philip Dorian, Scene on Stage
“As opposed to getting into the specifics of this play, it’s powerful performances, the intelligent “staging” and other details I enjoyed, I would invite you to click on the link and check it out for yourself. As many cultural institutions in New York struggle to stay afloat through these challenging times, the city, bruised and hurt but certainly not dead, slowly shifts gears to begin rising again, with initiatives like this one serving as an integral part of its rebirth. So though the appointment is on Zoom, that heartbeat we all skipped might have just come back: See you at the theater!"- Lorenzo Pozzan, Viva Lifestyles
"On Saturday, I attended the Seeing Place Theater’s Zoom production of Lynn Nottage’s brilliant play, Sweat. It is certainly one of the best things I’ve seen online, and maybe also in a theater. The ensemble cast is uniformly excellent, and they created vivid characters that live with me still. Bravo to director Brandon Walker and co-producer Erin Cronican! This production is available for viewing through March 3, I believe, and you should definitely check it out￼." - Janice Hall, via Facebook
FREE WITH YOUR TICKET - Saturday, February 27 and Sunday, February 28, 2021
(immediately following the performance)
Speakers: The Cast and Creative Team of SWEAT Theme: Doing Issues-Based Plays in a Trauma-Filled World
This talkback will enable audience members to talk directly to the artists who created SWEAT about their experiences with the play, how it was rehearsed for Zoom, and its relevance to our modern times.
FREE - Wednesday, March 3, 2021 (7pm Eastern Time, via Zoom)
Theme: ACTION STEPS - Racism and Economics: The Social Impact of Recession
Speaker: Brittany Smith of The Fortune Society
This talkback enabled audience members to hear community experts talk about the themes of the play and how they relate to our immediate situation in the world. We also brainstormed on ways that YOU can make a difference.
About Our Speaker:
Brittany Smith is the Senior Director of Education and Training at The Fortune Society, where she provides transformative leadership to coordinate and supervise all educational and training services, programs, classes, and activities offered by the young adult and adult education programs and hard skills training courses. Brittany firmly believes in cultivating an atmosphere for all participants to explore their interests both in and out of the classroom, especially with regards to the participants using their voice as a tool for both self-advocacy and empowerment. Brittany educates and inspires Fortune’s participants to succeed and become leaders with genuine passion and intensity.