Millionaires and Minimum Wage Workers Heard in Abundance, from Off-Bway's Working Theater | Playbill

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News Millionaires and Minimum Wage Workers Heard in Abundance, from Off-Bway's Working Theater The Drama Desk Award-winning troupe, The Working Theatre, will stage the New York premiere of Marty Pottenger's Abundance — a new work about economic disparity in America — at Dance Theatre Workshop starting Jan. 8, 2004.

Prior to its New York City performances, Abundance is playing Washington DC, Providence RI, Burlington VT and Seattle, WA. The New York staging is an Equity LOA Off-Broadway run, continuing to Jan. 24.

Abundance was commissioned by the Working Theater, a company known for Tabletop and devoted to stories by and about working folks. The piece was created by Marty Pottenger through three years of interviews with multi-millionaires and minimum wage workers across the United States.

"At the heart of Abundance was a year-long New York-based civic dialogue group including participants ranging from undocumented workers to the very wealthy," according to production notes. "Abundance makes possible an exchange historically marked by silence and shame on both ends of the economic spectrum."

The play is performed by five actors and explores America's attitudes toward wealth, and asks, "How much do we have?" and "What is enough."

"Abundance takes the nation's economic temperature by exploring the taboo world of household budgets, bank accounts and credit cards," according to the announcement. The play was developed in the same way as Pottenger's OBIE-Award winning City Water Tunnel #3, which focused on a 64-mile long water tunnel as deep that will eventually carry water to nine million New Yorkers.

Pottenger has been performing since 1975.  She has received funding from the NEA, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, Lilia Wallace Arts Partners, Rockefeller MAP, Animating Democracy, NYSCA and NYFA.  Along with Abundance, Pottenger is currently working on Just War, a tragic comedy with original songs about forgiveness, penance and reconciliation written from veteran soldiers and their families with Director Ana Miljanic and the Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade.

Since 1985, The Working Theater (Robert Arcaro, artistic director; Mark Plesent, producing director) has been dedicated to producing plays for and about working people. Past hits include Let Me Live, Ascension Day, I Am a Man, Belmont Avenue Social Club, A Drop in the Bucket, Tabletop (Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble) and Hold Please.

Playwrights including Israel Horovitz, Romulus Linney, Suzan-Lori Parks, John Sayles and OyamO have premiered their work with the company.

Abundance is directed by Marty Pottenger and Steven Bailey and features Carey Barker, Herb Downer, Joe Gioco, Thom Rivera and Nikki Walker. Video is designed by Jeanne Finnerty/Ed Hannah, set designer is Mimi Lien, lighting designer is Susan Hamburger, sound designer is Mio Morales. Composer is Terry Dame.

Dance Theatre Workshop is located at  219 W. 19th Street.

Performances play Tuesday-Saturday at 7 PM and Saturday at 2 PM with a special performance Monday Jan. 12 at 7 PM.  For ($20-$25) tickets, call DTW at (212) 924-0077. For group rates please call the Working Theater at (212) 539-5675.


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