Like Grapes of Wrath, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat offers a devastating look at social and economic breakdown, told not with rants or statistics, but through a riveting tale about good people in a bad situation. The characters in Sweat live in Reading, Pennsylvania, which 2010 U.S. Census data identified as the poorest city in America.
They are current, former and (they fully expect) future employees of a local factory, and they hang out together in a neighborhood bar, where most of the play takes place.
If, as Nottage has said in interviews, they were victims of the “de-industrial revolution,” Sweat isn’t as concerned with answering how did this happen as in bringing us into the world of her credible, engaging characters, embodied by a terrific cast.
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