Workdirected by Jim Simpson
The Flea Theater, NYC
May-June 2005

Reviews

“Charlotte Meehan’s expressionistic play examines a cross-section of familiar archetypes, helpfully named according to their personalities in the manner of an old English allegory. Director Jim Simpson transforms his modest Flea Theater into a bleak warren of cubicles to chilling effect, lifting the roof off the corporate cage and giving us a glimpse of the animals trapped inside. Text, direction, and performance blend admirably in the production, conceived and executed with clarity and vision.”

— Trav S.D., Time Out NY

“The Flea Theater is making people laugh. Its latest production, the New York premiere of Charlotte Meehan’s Work, is not just funny — it’s laugh-out-loud, knee-slapping hysterical. Meehan has written a crisply intelligent script. She expertly juggles workplace politics, narcissism, ruthless manipulation, sex, sexuality, misogyny, role reversal, despair, betrayal, and vengeance. As the pieces fall to the ground, Meehan brilliantly deconstructs both corporate America and American society as a whole. Under the outstanding direction of Jim Simpson and featuring the exceptional talents of the Bats, the Flea’s resident acting company, Work is 65 minutes of pure comedic delirium.”

— Sean Michael O’Donnell,Off-Off Online

“It is performance art, or rather, “performance drama.” Dread, comedy, eroticism, bewilderment, all become intertwined with sound and lighting cues. . . it floats across the stage like Greek theater.”

— Douglas Singleton, L Magazine

“Corporate automatons, unite. Charlotte Meehan’s new play Work now playing at the Flea is a sly and darkly parodic look at corporate America. The workers are pitted against upper management in a bitter power struggle worthy of Kafka. In true Flea fashion, this is a funny yet thought provoking play, wrapped in a deft modernist structure and presented in a fresh, unassuming manner. Anyone who’s ever spent time in the corporate grist mill will find much to recognize and appreciate.”

— Jenny Sandman,Curtain Up

Scene from Work - picture 1

Adeel Akhtar & Michael Diskint
Photo credit: Max Ruby

Poster design: David Prittie

Excerpt

Scene: The Office.

At rise: An employee altercation.

MARY ANN & MACKEREL M.M. & BARRY HONEY
Look Hope Less, we cannot afford to start another day off on the wrong foot.

HOPE LESS
I have all I can do to keep myself from walking out to that terrace, climbing up on the railing, and jumping to my death.(Pause.)

BARRY HONEY
You don’t do your work, do you?

HOPE LESS
You have no idea what trepidation is, and you don’t know in what kind of trepidation I live.

MARY ANN
HA! You think you’ve got complaints!
My husband didn’t want me.
Years of that. Of convincing myself.
Of thinking, good, he won’t give in to my vanity.
But I’m a woman and I’m beautiful.
I should be able to buy things.
I deserve to buy things.

MACKEREL M. M.
And I am accomplished.
I summarize. I analyze.
I synthesize. Theorize. Categorize.
You think that’s easy?

HOPE LESS
Well, I am someone who needs many hours for contemplation.

BARRY HONEY
As if you’re the only one? As if.
I need to see part of the green wall in my kitchen at least 45 minutes a day.
I have to make time for that.
Green!! Do you hear me? GREEN.

MACKEREL M.M.
No reason to get all revved up.

MARY ANN (into her compact)
Photos should be taken of me.
I should be remembered this way.

BARRY HONEY & HOPE LESS
Everything breaks apart in the morning.

MICHAEL U.M.
Come on now. Back to WORK.

BARRY HONEY
Yes. Work.

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Michael Diskint, Audrey Lynn Weston, Adeel Akhtar, Parrish Hurley - Photo credit: T. Charles Erickson

This play was previously presented at Clark University by CUPS under the direction of Vanessa Gilbert.