MHS Drama Club to Present ‘Nickel and Dimed’

The Melrose High School Drama Club is pleased to announce that it will be performing the play “Nickel and Dimed” at the 2017 Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild’s Drama Fest on March 4, 2017 at 9:00 AM at Andover High School, 100 Shawsheen Road, Andover MA. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door.

“Nickel and Dimed” is a play written by Joan Holden and is based upon the New York Times Bestseller “NICKEL AND DIMED, ON (NOT) GETTING BY IN AMERICA” by Barbara Ehrenreich. The play is directed by Melrose High School History Teacher and Club Advisor Timothy Daly.

“Nickel and Dimed” tells the story of a middle-aged, middle-class woman’s attempt to survive in our high cost society by working minimum wage jobs as a chambermaid and a waitress. Based upon author Barbara Ehrenreich’s first hand research of low-wage life, her best-selling story about her odyssey is vivid and witty, yet deeply sobering.

Joan Holden’s stage adaptation of the book has been described as “a focused comic epic shadowed with tragedy. Barbara is prepared for hard work but not, at age 55, for double shifts and nonstop aches and pains; for having to share tiny rooms, live on fast food because she has no place to cook, beg from food pantries, gulp handfuls of Ibuprofen because she can’t afford a doctor; for failing, after all that, to make ends meet; or for constantly having to swallow humiliation. The worst, she learns, is not what happens to the back or the knees: it’s the damage to the heart. The bright glimpses of Barbara’s co-workers that enliven the book become indelible portraits: Gail, the star waitress pushing 50 who can no longer outrun her troubles; Carlie, the hotel maid whose rage has burned down to disgust; Pete, the nursing home cook who retreats into fantasy; Holly, terrified her pregnancy will end her job as Team Leader at Magic Maids, and with it her $0.50 raise. These characters endure their life struggles with a gallantry that humbles Barbara, and the audience. The play shows us the life one-third of working Americans now lead, and makes us angry that anyone should have to live it.”

The play has been labeled by critics as “undeniably provocative and “involving, important and urgently topical.” Time Magazine has called it “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.” For more information on this important production please contact Mr. Daly at tdaly@melroseschools.com or see the Melrose Drama page on Facebook.

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