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Urbana High School to present Working

From a UHS press release:

When Tim Broeker was in high school years ago, acting in the musical Working proved to be a pivotal theatre experience. Now, as Director of Theatre at Urbana High School, Broeker is providing the experience for his students—and taking it up a notch.

“This show was a life-changing theatre experience for me my junior year of high school,” says Broeker, explaining that the adults in the audience connected with the show more than anything the school had produced before. “As a teenager, it was the first time I realized that our theatre experience wasn’t just about us and what we were doing on stage. It was about connecting with an audience and their point of view.”

Based on the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Studs Terkel, Working at UHS features 30 high school actors, each portraying adults in various careers and jobs—from an ironworker and UPS deliveryman to a hedge fund manager, a teacher, and a tech support team member.

Through monologues, songs, and full-ensemble numbers, the characters explore the joys, dreams, fears and frustrations that come with being working adults.

“It’s really a gritty, gripping, and human show expressing a full range of emotions, just like real life,” Broeker says. “Each adult in the audience will find parts they can really relate to. 

High school students, however, can’t fully grasp the realities of being adults. To help the teens develop their characters, Broeker has asked each actor to interview someone in the community who has a job or career similar to their character’s. 

“Being able to see things from a different point of view will really help [the students] connect with the characters they’re playing,” Broeker says. “That’s what was missing when I did the show back in high school.” 

Working will be performed at 7 pm on April 29 & 30 and May 1 & 2, and also at 2:30 pm on Sunday, May 3. All performances will be in the Urbana High School Cobb Auditorium, 1002 S. Race Street. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults, and are available at the box office, which opens 30 minutes prior to each performance.

The 30 Urbana High School actors will be joined on stage by two young actors, Gideon Johnson and Eve Johnson, both students at Leal Elementary School in Urbana. Assisting Tim Broeker is Technical Director Breanna Morton, Vocal Music Director Becky Park, and Blase Cermak, who will lead the four-piece ensemble pit (guitar, bass, piano, drums).

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