Time magazine essayist Barbara Ehrenreich gave up her writing job to work as a waitress, then a maid and finally at Wal-Mart and the result was the New York Times bestseller, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America." Joan Holden, under the artistic advice of Anna Deavere Smith (Fires in the Mirror, Twlight: Los Angeles), has fashioned the book into a stage play, making its world premiere July 26-Aug. 25 at Seattle's Intiman Theatre.
In the opening chapter of her book, Ehrenreich figures out her necessary wage ($7 an hour), a living space (she aspires to afford something as "good" as a trailer in Key West, Florida) and a job (waitressing the dinner shift at the Hearthside for $2.43 an hour plus tips). Through her contacts , she realizes how physically, emotionally and economically hard it is to work for what is considered a living wage. Adaptor Holden was the principal playwright for the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe from 1970 to 2000.
Sharon Lockwood stars in Nickel and Dimed. Also in the cast are Jason Cottle, Kristin Flanders, Cynthia Jones and Olga Sanchez.
Intiman's artistic director Barlett Sher directs, replacing the previously announced Amanda Dehnert of Trinity Repertory Theatre. Sher helmed the Intiman's 2002-03 season opener Titus Andronicus and has had great success directing for Off-Broadway's Theatre for a New Audience. Productions there include Waste, Cymbeline and the upcoming Don Juan, due in spring, 2003.
The Intiman Theatre is located in the Seattle Center at 201 Mercer St. For reservation information, call (206) 269 1900. The Intiman Theatre is on the web at http://www.intiman.org. — By Christine Ehren