Members of Meatpackers Book Club, a Philly World Premiere, Hack Away at Classics

News   Members of Meatpackers Book Club, a Philly World Premiere, Hack Away at Classics
Philadelphia Theatre Workshop will present the world premiere of Philly playwright Kathy Anderson's The Meatpackers Book Club, a comedy about an unlikely literature group, May 30-June 14.

As the title suggests, the play concerns "love, books, and animal carcasses," as members of a meat plant book group gather, according to PTW. Performances play Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5. Opening is May 30.

According to PTW, "Imagine a book club where the members wield bloody hacksaws for a living and discussions about literature break out in fistfights — it's The Meatpackers Book Club. To rise above the raw gore of their daily lives, clever Harry, tough guy Red, one-armed Augustus, and lone female meatpacker Tiny discuss Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, 'The Life of Pi,' and the proper way to hack animal carcasses. Meanwhile, a love triangle is evolving and something very strange and troubling is going on in Sector 8 of the meatpacking plant. And today, while all these worlds are colliding, it's really difficult to get a meaningful discussion going."

Anderson said in a statement, "I wanted to take a fantastically hard job — meatpacking — and play with the humor of workers starting a book club there, right in the middle of all that muck. Then, to take the setting and workers themselves and make both funny and larger than life added to the challenge, and the fun."

PTW artistic director Bill Felty directs The Meatpackers Book Club. His cast includes Daniel DeRosier as Augustus, Jerry Rudasill as Harry, Kristen Schier as Tiny and Nick Suders as Red.

The design team includes Stephen Hungerford (set design), Christiana Molldrem (lighting design) and Melissa Black (costume design). Dramaturgy is by Debra-Leigh Scott; Melody Wong is the stage manager. Anderson's Incoming, a comedy, had a world premiere with Philadelphia Theatre Workshop and went on to win the Queer Women's Play Contest with Bloody Unicorn Theatre Company and a full production in Arizona. Incoming was selected for the International Centre for Women Playwrights 2007 Chicago HER-RAH: A Festival of the World's Best Women Playwrights and Their New Plays and the TOSOS II Robert Chesley/Jane Chambers Playwright Project in New York City in 2008. She is an associate artistic director of Philadelphia Theatre Workshop.

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Philadelphia Theatre Workshop "strives to nurture bright and emerging artists at various stages of their careers."

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