An emotionally highly effective ‘Sweat’ from U.S. Naval Academy Masqueraders


The Naval Academy Masqueraders’ manufacturing of Sweat is an emotionally highly effective present. Lynn Nottage’s 2015 play, about manufacturing facility staff in Studying in 2000, with a number of scenes set in 2008, dramatically offers with class, race, gender, and capitalism. Directed by Christy Stanlake, it raises thought-provoking questions that really feel simply as related as we speak.

Lillian Kelly provides a righteous anger to Tracey, a manufacturing facility employee. She rushes as much as defend her buddy Cynthia (Sofia Okorafor) when her ex Brucie (Rob Saunders) tries to patch issues up. She complains when Oscar (Andre Saiz) asks her about making use of for a manufacturing facility job. She rails at Cynthia when she will get a promotion “off the road” and administration begins to alter the working scenario, for the more severe. She yells at her son Jason (Christian Landis) when he asks her for cash. She rages towards a world that’s altering the foundations she used to dwell by.

Sofia Okorafor provides a quiet energy to Cynthia. She stands her floor towards Brucie, telling him she’s unwilling to get again collectively. After her promotion, she speaks of her pleasure at having air-con for the primary time. Caught between administration and her buddies working “on the road,” she tries to elucidate the scenario and guarantees to assist them, however refuses to strike with them, unwilling to surrender what she’s labored all her life to get.

Stan the bartender (Ty Fuselier), Chris (Joel Thomas), Oscar the bus boy (Andre Saiz), Jason (Christian Landis), and Tracey (Lillian Kelly) within the USNA Masqueraders’ manufacturing of ‘Sweat.’ Photograph by MIDN Max Bueno.

Christian Landis performs Jason, a younger manufacturing facility employee, with a youthful enthusiasm. He playfully teases his buddy Chris (Joel Thomas) about his “aspirations.” Because the dispute between staff and administration continues, anger, tinged with racism, takes him over. The truth is, when he first seems on stage, he seethes with anger, giving surly, one-word solutions to his parole officer’s questions. Watching him change is saddening.

Joel Thomas performs Chris, one other younger employee, with idealism and hope. His voice fills with pleasure as he speaks about his plans to go to varsity and get “off the road,” defending his desires towards Jason’s teasing. Throughout the labor dispute, he realizes that the system has all of them “combating for scraps.” Within the 2008 scenes, he nonetheless radiates positivity, even in any case he’s skilled.

Ty Fuselier provides a energy to Stan, proprietor of the bar the place the characters collect. A former employee himself, he tries to elucidate how the system has no loyalty to its staff. Making an attempt to maintain the peace between strikers and short-term staff, he yells at them to close up or get out, producing a baseball bat.

Andre Saiz provides a forcefulness to Oscar, a bar employee who will get a job on the manufacturing facility in the course of the dispute. Quiet firstly, he defends himself towards Tracey and Jason for changing into a “scab,” explaining how he was by no means a part of their household, by no means invited to any of their houses, and so owes them nothing in his pursuit of a greater life.

Olivia Hunt performs Jessie, one other employee, with a mixture of anger and wistfulness. She begins the play drunk on a desk, cursing Stan for not giving her one other drink earlier than racing to the lavatory. Later, she reminisces about her desires of world journey with a musician boyfriend.

Rob Saunders provides a desperation to Brucie. Out of labor and combating dependancy, he doesn’t know what to do, begging Cynthia to take him again and asking Jason and Chris for cash.

Washington Ross performs Evan the parole officer as a kind of mirror. He matches Jason’s anger, threatening to jot down a foul report until Jason satisfies his questions. He responds to Chris’ calmness with a quiet understanding.

Alyssa Nagle, Mary Casper, and Eduardo Ramirez play Information Reporters who open each scene with the date and recap world and native occasions. Their transitions to one another, with feelings barely hid, give humorous moments to a critical play.

Set Designer George Hollister fills the stage with a bar, with tables, chairs, and stools all through. A jukebox is within the again heart and a settee holds the far proper. Posters are on the partitions. For scenes set in residences, a settee, good chair, and aspect desk come ahead. Costume Coordinators Rob Saunders and Washington Ross guarantee a lot of the actors are in character with blue-collar working garments, like denims, overalls, and work cubicles. Evan wears khakis and a pleasant shirt, and after Cynthia’s promotion, she wears barely nicer clothes.

Lighting Designer Jenna Jeletic blacks out the stage for every scene, spotlighting the Information Reporters. For the few scenes set exterior the bar, a small part is illuminated. Sound Designer Emiliano Torres Valencia throws out the sound of fireworks for July 4th, political speeches on the TV, and music.

Blood and Make-up Stylists Lexi Betances, Alyssa Nagle, and Sophia Okorafor give scary tattoos and bruises to Jason in a number of scenes, that are well-concealed within the others. Blood can be used effectively in one other dramatic scene.

Christy Stanlake does an incredible job as director. The actors transfer across the stage and with one another effectively. One well-choreographed violent scene completely captures the surprising brutality. Some actors’ voices venture lower than others; mixed with their use of working-class Pennsylvania accents, it could typically be obscure them. And with out growing old make-up, it takes some time to appreciate a lot of the 20-something actors are enjoying individuals of their 40s, in addition to the truth that Jason and Chris are Tracey and Cynthia’s sons. Nonetheless, this manufacturing showcases the facility of drama to discover points simply as essential as we speak. Kudos to the Masqueraders for tackling such a significant, “heavy” play. Solely two performances stay, so catch it whilst you can!

Working Time: Roughly two hours half-hour, together with a 15-minute intermission.

Sweat performs November 18 and 19, 2022, at Mahan Corridor at the USA Naval Academy – 106 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, MD. For tickets ($7 Midshipmen, $15 Basic Public), name the ticket workplace at 410-293-8497 or buy on-line. Be aware: guests should current a photograph ID when getting into Gate 3 (pedestrians) or Gate 1 (automobiles).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here