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Big Work examines our modern day relationship to our jobs and the ripples this causes throughout our lives. Based on interviews with people from all across the US, the play follows 17 real people who share stories about their dreams, about feeling invisible, about unexpectedly starting over, and about searching for employment and themselves. What begins as a conversation about the work we do is woven into a larger story about identity, the definition of success, and what it means to both make a living and create a life.
This recording is an audio performance of the play by the entire original cast.
From the playwrights: In 2014, we had both just turned 30, and felt largely defined by the ways we made our livings. Melissa was struggling with what it means to be an artist with a day job. And Kate, after retreating into work during a long period of illness, was figuring out where work fit in the new life she was building. We'd also been having in-depth conversations with people in our lives about what it means to be seen as less valuable in the workforce as you age, what you are supposed to sacrifice to get ahead in a career, how to balance the demands of a family with the demands of a workplace, whether or not our passions should be our jobs, and what it means to try so hard and always come up short. At the same time, it seemed like everyone we met asked us the same question, "What do you do?" It began to feel as though the language we use to communicate with each other reinforced the idea - intentionally or not - that our value comes from how we earn a living. We began reaching out to strangers all across the country, asking to interview them about these issues. We wove the transcripts from those interviews into this 90-minute play about the really big, really complicated feelings people have about their work and what it means in their lives.