Guerin Prep stages Studs Terkel’s ‘Working’
Opening scene from the musical "Working", based on the book by Studs Terkel. | Vincent D. Johnson~for Sun Times Media
Updated: December 2, 2012 6:14AM
RIVER GROVE — With enthusiasm, hard work and a thirst to perform, a group of Guerin Prep High School students took to the stage.
Members of Guerin Prep’s theater department presented the musical “Working” Oct. 26 and 27 in the school’s auditorium. The play is based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews of American workers.
Kristen Mackie, theatre director at Guerin Prep, has run the department and organized performances for the 27 years she’s been at the school.
“The message in the show is there are good days and bad days in anybody’s profession and the goal is to just do a good job,” Mackie said.
About 24 students took the stage this past weekend, each standing alone on stage portraying a common worker. Each of the individual performances involved some singing.
Kyle Swaba, 17, played Tom Patrick, a fireman.
“He has a real deep monologue,” he said of his character. “I wear a real firefighter costume. One of the girls, who is part of the cast, her father is a firefighter.”
Swaba said he loves acting and has been part of the theatre department since his freshman year. He’s now a senior.
“I like entertaining people,” he said. “It’s cool to be someone else for a period of time.”
Jesenia Roman, 17, a Guerin senior, plays Maggie Holmes, a cleaning lady. She likes the character.
“She has a really cool song,” she said. “She talks to her daughter and wants her daughter to have a better life, so she puts a lot of soul into it.”
Celina Santana, 15, has entertained since she was a little girl. This weekend, she played Delores Dante, a waitress.
“She is a sassy waitress and just fun,” she said. “She loves her job.”
Mackie said the students seldom disappoint in their performances.
“We have very talented kids and they work hard,” she said.
She and the students build the sets, set up lighting, provide the music – often performed by students – and construct the costumes for their shows. They charge a fee for their performances, but the money goes back into the department to pay for other performances or trips to perform.