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Three workshop readings of Big Work, A documentary play
The Actors Studio of Newburyport
Newburyport, MA
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Three workshop readings of Big Work, A documentary play
Why is the first question we always ask one another, "What do you do?" Are our jobs all others see of us?

Big Work examines our modern day relationship to our jobs, and the ripples this causes throughout our lives. What began as a conversation about the work we do is woven into a larger story about identity, the definition of success, and ultimately what it means to both make a living and create a life.

As an artist with a "day job," Melissa Bergstrom became interested in the way people relate to their jobs. As a result, she and her collaborator, Kate Marple, created the documentary theater piece, Big Work. When Melissa and Kate decided to develop a theater piece based on peoples relationships with their jobs, they knew the first step was to start the arduous process of interviewing real people. Marple began her first interview with the expectation that it would last about 30 minutes. More than two hours later, they were still talking. Right away, I realized we hit a nerve, says Marple. People want to talk about this. People arent as comfortable with their relationship with their work as they pretend they are. The women interviewed people from across the U.S. about what they do and what they value most in their lives. Accountants, artists, pharmacists, salesmen, people looking for work, and at-home parents shared stories about their dreams, about feeling invisible, about starting over, and about searching for employment and about themselves. Three months, 40 interviews and 138,097 transcribed words later, the two women had the start of Big Work, a new play that opened and sold out in Cambridge in March 2016.


The Actors Studio of Newburyport (View)
50 Water Street, Mill #1, Suite #5
Newburyport, MA 01950
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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