The Subversive Theatre Collective:

2002-2017: Now in Year #14 of our Kamikaze Journey!
Subversive Theatre: Where pissing you off is only the beginning

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  "Political Theatre, engaged theatre, whatever damn name you want to call it, is not diminished by ideas of justice or theories of resistance.  
   "On the contrary, ideas and theories are the elemental sparks from Heaven. We can only pray that these sparks burn a hole through our skulls and stir our hands to writing." 

-Naomi Wallace

Performed April 10th - May 10th, 2008 at the Alt Theatre

A play on (not) getting by in America!
by Joan Holden

"[D]aring, direly necessary and unapologetic activist theater."
Three Stars!!!
-- Colin Dabkowski, BUFFALO NEWS 4/15/08

click here to read this review

"The re-enactments of Ehrenreich's experiences working one lousy, low wage job after another are disquieting and all too realistic."
-- Joyce Kryszak, WBFO NEWS 5/7/08

click here to read this review

"A strong energetic cast propels the play through its episodic stages, and from the back corners of the stage to the front, Director Virginia Brannon has gotten the movement and clustering of the actors to a very smooth resolve."
-- Willy Rogue Donaldson, NIGHTLIFE MAGAZINE 4/21/08

click here to read this review

     For Subversive Theatre's largest-scale independent production to date, we were proud to present one of the most important stories of class inequality of our generation -- NICKEL AND DIMED.
Click below for more info...
-- About Author Barbara Ehrenreich
-- About Author Joan Holden
-- About this Play's Production History
-- Meet the Cast
-- Meet the Crew
-- Production Photos
-- Return to the NICKEL AND DIMED Mainpage
-- Subversation Saturdays
Buffalo News Review 4/15/08
-- Nightlife Mag. Review 4/21/08
-- WBFO News Feature 5/7/08

-- Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich
-- Interview with Joan Holden
-- Living Wage Campaigns

     This play was originally published as a documentary book by progressive journalist Barbara Ehrenreich in 2001 chronicling her experience working various low-income jobs in three different parts of the America.
     San Francisco playwright Joan Holden adapted the book for the stage in 2002 dramatizing five of the most unendurable jobs that Ehrenreich undertook.  The result is a play the follows protagonist "Barbara" through the whirlwind of annoying customers, dickhead bosses, and flaky co-workers that dead-end jobs notoriously attract.
     While peppered with many uproariously funny moments, NICKEL AND DIMED is ultimately a very sobering tale of the dehumanizing exploitation that goes on in America every day.  "The working poor are our biggest anonymous donors," explains Barbara in the closing lines of the play, "we need to figure out what WE owe THEM."
For this ideals-driven production, we set up shop at Buffalo's newest performance space -- the Alt Theatre on the third floor of North Buffalo's Great Arrow Building.  The post-industrial atmosphere of this huge complex that was once the heart of America's Pierce Arrow Corporation provided the perfect backdrop for our latter-day testament to the travails of working class existence.
     Apart from the main character Barbara, every actor in the twelve-person ensemble played a dizzyingly wide array of characters.  Each performance was a wild frenzy of activity as actors emphatically dashed to and fro with an endless litany of props and sets to conjure up this play's ever-changing scenes and situations.
     Turnout for this event was quite simply extraordinary.  Night after night brought standing-room-only crowds throughout our unprecedented five-week-long run.  The enormous audience support and media attention that this project enjoyed was undeniable evidence of how sorely this play's anti-corporate agenda is needed in the world today.  Here's the rundown on who did what:


Director . . . . . . . . . . . Virginia Brannon*
Stage Manager . . . . . Hasheen DeBerry*
Set, Props, & Lights . . Dyan O'Connell*
Sound Designer . . . . . . . .  John Shotwell
Costume Designer . . . . .  Jessica Stuber*
Poster Designer . . . . . . . Michael Klemm
Web Designer . . . .  Kurt Schneiderman*

(in order of appearance)
Barbara . . . . . . . . . .  Moira A. Keenan
Gail, Customer, others . Jennifer Linch*
Hector, others . . . . . . . Afrim Gjonbalaj
Carlie, Melissa, others Arianna Boykins
George, Ted, others . .  Justin Fiordaliso
Mom, Marge, others . Kelly M. Beuth*
Dad, Manager, Pete . . . . . Tom Izard*
Teen, Kimberly, others  Stephanie Dale
Editor, Boyfriend . . . . . .  Paul O'Hern
Joan, Maddy, others .  Jessica Stuber*
Philip, others . . Leon S. Copeland, Jr*
Cashier, Holly, others . Jennifer Fitzery

(listed alphabetically)
Brian Barrington*, Virginia Brannon*, Bobbi DeBose*, Guy DeFedericis*, Keith Elkins*, Kathleen E. Foster*, David Granville*, Daire Brian Irwin*, Michael Fanelli*, Marshall Maxwell*, Tom Scahill*, Jeanette Schneiderman*, Kurt Schneiderman*, Amy Taravella, Patricia Topolski*

(listed alphabetically)
Hasheen DeBerry*, Kurt Schneiderman*, Carlie Todoro-Rickus*

     NICKEL AND DIMED was produced with financial support from the United University Professions (U.U.P.) Buffalo Center Chapter and a grant from the Arts Council of Buffalo & Erie County.  We would also like to thank the following groups and individuals for the use of space, props, and equipment:

Buffalo Federal Credit Union, El Buen Amigo Latin American Cultural Association, Theater of Youth, Kavinoky Theatre, University at Buffalo Department of Theatre and Dance, Delaware Avenue Pizza Hut, Amvets of Hertel Avenue, Latta Road Nursing Home, Buffalo Re-Use, Helen Demerly, John Izard, and Brian O'Connell

* = indicates members of the Subversive Theatre Collective

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