October 1 & 2 at 7:30 pm and October 3 at 3:00 pm
By Vanessa Tewes with additional reporting by Patrick DePace
The FTC Theatre Arts Division has been busy preparing for their new season of shows, and finally, the live audience is returning.
Sweat opens on Friday, October 1st at 7:30 pm, with additional performances on Saturday, October 2nd at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, October 3rd at 3:00 pm. The play will take place in the Performing Arts Center at Five Towns College.
Dr. David Krasner, Professor and Chair of FTC Theatre, described the play:
"Sweat takes place in a small city in Pennsylvania, on the western side of Pennsylvania. It deals with a factory town of working-class people who work at this factory called Olmstead. The factory in 2008 went through a serious decline because there was an economic collapse in the United States. The characters in the play are actually taken from real-life people. And the play takes place at this bar, outside of the factory, where many people are very close friends."
The production was originally written by Lynn Nottage and is being directed by Lisa Strum.
Actors Shannon Rose McCann and Cynthia Morin stopped by Good Morning FTC on WFTU Radio on September 24th to discuss their roles. Morin and McCann are excited to play Cynthia and Jessie (respectively), who are two single moms that have been best friends since childhood. The economic decline has severely impacted the factory as a whole as it resulted in many being laid off or overworked.
McCann says there's a lot of heavy topics that she hopes the audience can take away from the show, "We really tried to emphasize [what is] is racism, poverty, and addiction. I hope that when the audience sees it, they end up going home and talking about it. And they have these very hard conversations because we are still having those hard conversations, unfortunately. I hope this highlights the problem that was still happening in 2000. And in 2008, and now it's still happening in 2021."
Listen to a clip from McCann and Morin's interview on Good Morning FTC here:
The cast and crew were hard at work even before the semester started. Student Paul Chahfe, who plays the role of Jason, gives high praise to the production’s Director Lisa Strum.
Chahfe says, "One of the great things that Lisa does is that not only does she take full advantage of our time, but she tries to get the most out of us, and I really appreciate that. There are times as actors where we feel like, 'Man, I’m not getting it,' but she makes it whereas it’s ok not to get it right away. She treats us more like a coach instead of our boss, and I’m really grateful for that."
They will be allowing a live audience for Sweat. However, guests must be vaccinated. Morin and McCann say this is a huge help to have an audience to feed off of in their performances to give a more authentic performance and engage the crowd.
Dr. Krasner is looking forward to bringing the theatre program back into full swing with its showing of Sweat, saying, "We’re very excited to get back and to have live theatre, which we haven't had for a y ear and a half. We made an attempt at it for our musical at the end of the school year last year, but now we’re back and in full throttle."
Tickets are free for Five Towns College students, faculty, and staff. Additional tickets can be purchased here.