We are all a Work in Progress

An independently produced world premiere of a new play by local playwright Ben Parman, Work in Progress mixes screwball comedy and social commentary as it tells the story of a nonprofit temp agency for ex-offenders, based on Parman’s real experiences at a similar organization.

The play will be performed March 1st through March 16th at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 North 19th Street, near the Pabst Mansion in downtown Milwaukee.

 Often, those who want to help are the ones who need help. Work in Progress’ colorful cast of characters includes a functional alcoholic, a sexual anorexic and a former addict – and that’s just the staff. Soon it becomes clear that everybody has a record, and every one has a story.

Parman remembers one person in particular who inspired Work in Progress. “Our first client wanted a handy man. We gave them Dana – a sweet oaf with formidable moustache, who could fix anything – except his alcoholism. For weeks he’d be a model employee, then we’d find him in his apartment, cornered by beer cans.”

After one of those benders, Dana slipped on a stoop and into a coma, from which he never woke. But Parman did: “I couldn’t see myself as different anymore,” he says.

Though the organization folded at the beginning of the recession in 2009, Parman sees this play as an opportunity to continue the work: “You should attend Work in Progress to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet…and learn they’re not as different as you think.”

Performances will be given at 7:30 p.m. on March 1, March 2, March 8, March 9, March 15 and March16 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 631 North 19th Street, near the Pabst Mansion.

 Tickets for adults are $16.52, including service fees, or $13.93, including service fees, for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://workinprogressplay.com or calling (800) 838-3006.

The cast includes local favorites Matt Koester, Ruth Arnell, Nate Press, Amie Losi, Mario Alberts., and Shannon Tyburski and introduces new favorites Arielle Mason, Ryan Crice, Mike Loranger and Ty Love.