Gamm’s ‘Sweat’ – powerful, engaging theatre


Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize play has made it to the Gamm stage, an accurate recreation of a turn-of-the-century bar in Reading, Pennsylvania, when the city was one of the poorest in the country.

The opening scene shows a parole officer interviewing two young men separately after they are released from jail.

We then switch to the bar and a series of events involving the workers of the local factory.

The bartender (Steve Kidd) is the catalyst and sometimes referee for his customers and their disagreements, which grow wider over an eight year period as the play progresses.

Nottage has interviewed factory workers in molding together a dozen or more scenes, with a voiceover telling the audience where in history and time we are.

Three women have been friends since they were 18, working alongside each other in harmony until one gets an opportunity to leave the floor and become part of management.

The machines begin moving to Mexico, and the operators aren’t replaced.

Workers take sides and management pits them against one another.

Friendships are challenged. Situations become tense. Racial issues get in the way. Unemployment raises its ugly head.

Nottage shows us what a poor economy can do to an individual and how it has a ripple effect. The play is made even strong by the perfect ensemble cast led by Kidd.

Good to see Tracy Seymour Kim and Kelly Seigh back on stage.

“Sweat” is at Gamm through the end of November.

Call 723-4266 for more information.


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