Kansas State Theatre and Ebony Theatre will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Sweat” at the Chapman Stage in Nichols Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 3-5 and 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.
A range of K-State students will act in the play directed by Egla Hassan, a freelance director and previous teacher of 32 years at the University of Illinois. Hassan was invited to come and direct this play specifically.
Lindsey Edwards, junior in theatre and psychology, plays Tracy, a loud and prideful character. Edwards has enjoyed the show so far and — similar to her castmates — has committed a lot of time to the play the past four weeks.
“I think it’s a really good show, with a really important message,” Edwards said. “I think everyone can go see it and take something from it, and it is definitely a show that will cause people to think.”
The show centers around a group of friends who used to work together at a factory until it closed down. The play jumps back and forth between the past and the present but stays within the deep conversations the friends are having.
“The story just kind of jumps back and forth between time, discusses race, discusses class — it kind of discusses everything that goes on and how those things can kind of mend great friendships,” Tara Sitzmann-Darling, senior in theatre, said.
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Sitzmann-Darling plays Cinthia and has been able to help her castmates by providing personal insight into some of the issues that the play brings to light.
“The other way I’ve been involved is like, each of us kind of give our takes on what it means to be a minority in America and with like class and everything, and so that’s kind of another way I’ve been active,” Sitzmann-Darling said.
The play draws on aspects of businesses in America, such as the tendency of corporations to outsource or move to make more money and how that affects employees.
“What happens in this country, when the factory is making money, they want to make more money, and so they close the factory,” Hassan said. “The friends turn on each other … they grew up together, they were friends all the time, but when the factories closed and they were scrapping for money, they turned on each other.”
The cast and crew devoted a lot of time to the show in the weeks leading up to the performances.
“They’ve worked hard — I mean really hard — because they had classes that started and so they have to keep up with their schoolwork and still every night come to rehearsal and memorize a ton of work,” Hassan said.
More information about future shows is available through the MTD theater blog. Tickets for “Sweat” are available online through the K-State School of Music, Theatre, and Dance ticket office.
“We are always looking for more people: if anyone is interested, you can always go to Nichols Hall and ask somebody in the office,” Edwards said.