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Podcast Show Notes

Setting the Stage: About Sweat and Episode 1

Playwright Lynn Nottage completed extensive research and conducted hours of interviews with workers in Reading, Pennsylvania to get a feel for the characters she would bring to life in Sweat. The Pulitzer Prize winning play is a character-driven drama that explores the social and economic hardships endured as the ties between a close-knit group of friends begin to corrode along with the loss of their union-backed jobs.

These are themes that resonate today in the time of COVID, especially with the resulting loss of jobs and financial stability nationwide due to the pandemic.

Sweat was scheduled to open in the Allen Theatre on March 26. But, as the pandemic spread and government-mandated restrictions were put on gatherings, the production was frozen. The set is still on the stage in the Allen and we are hopeful we will be able to bring this wonderful production to you once the social-distancing guidelines have been lifted.

Join your host, ACT Artistic Director John Langs (who also directed), along with two of the show’s cast members, Anne Allgood (Tracey) and Reginald A. Jackson (Brucie) as they talk about Sweat, the process of creation and what it’s like to be part of the ACT Core Company artistic family in this lively and engaging conversation.


Music played an important role in ACT’s production of Sweat. The play’s action bounces between the years 2000 and 2008, with a jukebox being a focal point on stage. Used as audio cues throughout, music helped to communicate time and setting for each scene.

You can get a sense of what we mean by listening to these two Spotify playlists featuring the jukebox music from the production.

Link to The Music of Sweat: Country playlist on Spotify
Link to The Music of Sweat: Pop playlist on Spotify

Be sure to like each playlist and follow ACT Theatre on Spotify. Look for more ACT playlists soon!


From the Podcast:

Anne Allgood’s Tracey summons an era when, “…if you worked with your hands, people respected you for it.”

That has all changed, Tracey argues in this reading from Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Sweat.