People either love their work, hate  it or just go through the motions so they can collect a pay check.

Either they’re trying to slide by on the job with as little effort as possible, or are in a desperate search to get somebody to hire them.



“Brass Tacks,” takes a mostly comic look at life in several possible work settings. It opened Thursday and will continue with performances at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pittsburg State University Studio Theatre in Grubbs Hall.

People either love their work, hate  it or just go through the motions so they can collect a pay check.
Either they’re trying to slide by on the job with as little effort as possible, or are in a desperate search to get somebody to hire them.

“Brass Tacks,” takes a mostly comic look at life in several possible work settings. It opened Thursday and will continue with performances at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pittsburg State University Studio Theatre in Grubbs Hall.

The play, an original piece by Dr. Cynthia Allan, PSU communication department chairman, is a structured improvisation.

“The playwright establishes the setting and a framework of scenes or narrative that is then developed more fully by the acting ensemble,” Allan said. “Improvisation is, quite literally, acting without a net.”
Fortunately, the members of the PSU Advanced Performance Ensemble are up to the challenge. Cast members are Ethan Caldwell, Austin Curtright, Zach Freisberg, Kristy Magee, Michelle Rhoades, Ross Stone, Duke Walter and Megan Westhoff, with a cameo appearance by Debbi Fischer as a beleagured school nurse.

The show consists of a series of scenes, beginning with “Resumes,” in which the characters desperately interview for a job and are ruthlessly rejected. Finally a degenerate loser who isn’t even sure he wants the job gets hired.

Allan has divided the scenes into “Entrepreneurs,” “Management” and “Labor.”  Under “Entrepreneurs” we have some kids trying to run a lemonade stand and a two brothers, one of them a  crackpot who wants to start a business manufacturing fake bird nests.

Then, in “Management,” we have the “Wheel of Success,” which was formerly the “Whirlpool of Success.” It’s a dead-on send up of every motivational strategy session you’ve ever had to sit through.

Then, in “Labor,” we’ve got a used car salesman, some struggling landscapers and, of course, School Nurse Debbi. Among her patients are a kid with a sword under his arm and a girl who has a tummy ache because she ate a blue crayon.

Many of the moments are humorous, but not all, as in the case of a female worker who is badgered by co-workers about her bad mood. “All right, I’ll tell you,” she says. “I’ve got breast cancer.”

Allan directs the show, with Jeanine Kunshek, Megan McCoy and Katie Farrell on the technical crew. Lisa Quinteros provided costumes, and Dan Williams designed the set and lighting. Technical direction and construction have been provided by Austin Curtright, Drew Porter and Linden Little.

Tickets are $8 for the general public, $5 for those under 17 or over 65, and free to PSU students with a valid ID. They may be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office by calling 235-4796, and will also be available at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain time.

A service project is also being conducted in conjunction with the production, and audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable items to the collection boxes in the theater lobby. All donated food will go to the Wesley House Food Bank.