Nickle and Dimed
by Joan Holden
directed by Brian Hansen
When a middle-aged scientist goes undercover to experience low paying jobs she learns about “Not Getting by in America”. Working as a maid, a waitress, and an “associate” at Mall Mart led Barbara Ehrenreich to her best-selling book Nickel and Dimed and then to the play of that name by Joan Holden. Starting September 12th, The Adobe Theater will present this dramatic work, directed by Brian Hansen. A number of actors will portray a wide variety of characters as Colleen McLure (most recently seen in Lend Me A Tenor at The Adobe and in Juno And The Paycock at The Vortex) playing ‘Barbara’ attempts to make ends meet while phoning her boyfriend to assure him she is managing okay (even when she isn’t).
In the course of her adventures Barbara meets other workers who struggle with lack of money and education, difficult supervisors, illness and family problems. The audience joins her experience with growing empathy for these people (not all of them saints). The author, of course, has resources she can fall back on as well as a book contract, but she attempts to live on her meager wages for poor food and the often appalling housing. Only with the cooperation of the other workers does she make it through each month.
Former UNM professor of theater and an Adobe regular as actor and director, Brian Hansen has chosen this challenging script because the “working poor” are an increasing portion of our sadly divided nation. Many of us do not see their plight. “One function of theater is to help us see and empathize with others. I am proud The Adobe has taken on this powerful play.”
Brian recently directed the Mark Twain comedy, Is He Dead?, and the drama Painting Churches. His wide experience in New Mexico, Utah, California, and other venues will help him work out the many scene changes in this play. The play has happy moments and many surprises, but the encounter with such varied personalities will surely keep the viewers’ interest.
Nickel and Dimed opens at The Adobe on Friday, September 12th, and plays four weekends through October 5th.
9813 4th St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87114