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SWEAT: A Vivid Reflection on Struggling of America’s Working Class

Following an Off Broadway run at the Public Theater last fall, SWEAT officially opened on Broadway March 26. Nottage was able to touch hearts of working-class Americans by authentically depicting their lives destroyed by the Rust Belt policy where factories started to downsize and demand substantial pay cuts, then moved to Mexico from Pennsylvania. The authenticity of this play was built upon extensive interviews between Nottage and blue-collar workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, which later on accounts for the solid characters and realistic dialogues represented in SWEAT. Whoriskey’s successes in portraying these factory workers’ life in Reading delivers a core message: the inhuman negotiation tactics of the factories left the working middle class suffer from ruthless despair and outrageous anger in losing their financial source. Some hide themselves in drugs and alcohol as a means to escape from the cruel reality, like Cynthia’s ex-husband. While others, like Will, try to find the “justice” and punish the “roots” that he presumed as the cause of their sufferings. Every aspects revealing in this play depicted a social tragedy that lead us to reflect deeply on what is really going wrong in our society.

Written on May, 18th 2017