The play "Nickel and Dimed," written by Joan Holden, features a successful writer named Barbara, who over an expansive expense account lunch with an editor, proposes to investigate the lives of low-wage workers by trying to survive on minimum wage jobs herself. The editor scoffs at the idea, but Barbara goes ahead with it. Thus the play frames its main theme (the book's story of underpaid workers struggling to get by) within a story of how such a book came to be written.
The Theater Project is known for presenting both outrageous comedy and productions which focus on social commentary. In the case of "Nickel and Dimed," it does both at once. “A big surprise for many is that this play is a comedy," says Theater Project artistic director Mark Spina. “It looks at underemployment, income inequality and the need for living wages – huge economic issues being debated right now. But it dramatizes the lives of struggling workers with empathy and humor.”
TIME Magazine called the play, "A rare example of theater that tries to open people's eyes to the way life is lived in the real world—and maybe even rouse them to action."
Bev Sheehan (Maplewood) plays Barbara; Gary Glor (Union), Barbara Guidi (Scotch Plains), Gail Lou (Teaneck), Daaimah Talley (Plainfield), Sarah Brooke Vanaman (Jersey City), play the people who cross her path. The production is directed by Spina (Union).
NICKEL AND DIMED plays March 20 through April 6 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, 10 Durand Rd, Maplewood, NJ. Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2 PM. There will be a talk-back with actors after each Friday night performance, and the actors greet the audience in the lobby after every show. Tickets ($30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $15 for students) may be purchased online at.thetheaterproject.org or by phone: (908) 809-8865