“9 to 5”: Worth the Time

“9 to 5” exceeded my already high expectations of PESH theater

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“9 to 5”: Worth the Time

Actors perform on stage during a 9 to 5 rehearsal on Jan. 23.

Actors perform on stage during a 9 to 5 rehearsal on Jan. 23.

Photo by Karen Arreguin

Actors perform on stage during a 9 to 5 rehearsal on Jan. 23.

Photo by Karen Arreguin

Photo by Karen Arreguin

Actors perform on stage during a 9 to 5 rehearsal on Jan. 23.

by Aysia Lane, Reporter

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With years of watching theater productions and being a part of them, you could say I’ve become a critic. I peer into the wings of the stage to see the behind-the-scenes madness, notice when actors break character or miss notes, and over-analyze the director’s choices. Honestly, I give myself too much credit, but this show deserves all of that credit – and then some.

In passing, one of my teachers told my class about the show and mentioned that the first act was 90 minutes long. With that knowledge, I ate a hearty meal and made sure to avoid too much water before the show. Never in my life have 90 minutes gone by so fast.

“9 to 5” takes the audience through the struggle of three women working in a world that denies them equal opportunities, namely in the workplace. Most of their shortcomings are a result of their boss’ decisions, who is commonly referred to as a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” Flipping through the program, I was eager to see who would play the villainous boss, Mr. Hart. My eyes dragged down the page and widened to find senior Jakob Schlegel listed under the role. Sitting next to him every day in English only led to pleasant conversations and light-hearted jokes (pun intended), the character Mr. Hart was everything but. It speaks to the talent of the actors that they were able to transform themselves from people I see in the halls every day to characters that completely contradicted everything I had come to know about them personally.

Technically speaking, there were a few mishaps. Microphones would go out every-so-often and set pieces may have become temporarily disjointed. Although these issues may have been noticeable to the audience, they didn’t detract from the performance of the actors. The set crew’s choice of color and design gave the scenes more character and ensured that if there was a moment of silence, the set itself would fill the void.

One thing that can truly make or break a musical is the choreography. Without the proper gestures and body movements, some critical ideas may become lost in translation. Choreographer grade Gabrielle Collins made sure that the storytelling didn’t take a back seat when it came time to dance. At times I found myself doing a little more than head nodding and foot tapping in an effort to keep up with the cast, but I quickly realized (along with those seated near me) that wasn’t the best idea.

The casting was impeccable, and after the show I found myself applauding Director Brian Grunkowski’s choice of actors and their roles. The decisions an actor makes, in regards to their character, are a defining factor in every role they choose to portray.

It was easy to see the dedication and work put into “9 to 5.” The cast and crew put on another amazing show that definitely contributes to the reputation East theater has created among Plano schools. Next time, find me front row with a bag of Sour Patch Kids, eager to critique the next show. Maybe I should be a professional critic… what a way to make a livin’.