"Working" by Stephen Schwartz et al

"Working" is a musical arranged by Stephen Schwartz, based on the 1974 book "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" by Studs Terkel and with original music by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, Michele Brourman with spanish lyrics by Graciela Daniele and Matt Landers.

A unique aspect of this musical is that the characters in "Working" are non-fictional. Their names have been changed but their words have not. Even in the case of song lyrics, the writers have tried to remain as faithful as possible to the character's original words.


Act 1

In the morning all the workers are getting ready for their jobs (All the Livelong Day). Mike Dillard, a steelworker, talks about the dangers of his job. Some people get caught in a (Traffic Jam) on the highway. Some of the cars stop at an office building where Al Calinda, a parking lot attendant is working. He parks the cars and states that he has been parking cars his whole life, and probably for the rest of his life (Lovin Al). On top of the parking lot there is an office building. Amanda McKenny is displeased that people stereotype her with her job. She has a strained relationship with her boss, Rex Winship, who tells us he wants to be a teacher. Rose Hoffman, a teacher who has one year left until retirement, is unhappy with the changes she sees in the school system (Nobody Tells Me How). She remembers a student of hers, Babe Secoli, who is now a checker at the Treasure Island Supermarket. Babe explains that her job requires work from every part of the body (I'm Just Movin). Her bag boy, Roberto Nunez, is unhappy with the music that is playing in the market, which is the Cuban Revolution celebratory song along with the hardships of working on a farm and hopes a better day will come (Un Mejor Dia Vendra). In the neighborhood, Conrad Swibel is on his UPS delivery route, talking about the perks of his job: meeting women, and the bad parts, getting chased by dogs. After he leaves, John Rushton delivers the newspaper and tells of his dreams for the future (Neat to be a Newsboy). His mother, Kate Rushton, a housewife, who complains that people doubt her intelligence because she chooses to stay at home all day (Just a Housewife). Candy Cottingham says that she needs to separate people from their jobs for her job as a political fundraiser. Grace Clements explains that she does not want to see any young people doing her job as a millworker because of the physical stress on the body (Millwork). As evening rolls in, all the workers remember their dreams of old (If I Could've Been).

Act 2

Anthony Coelho likes his job because in a hundred years people will still see his work (The Mason). On the highway, Frank Decker and Dave are driving their truck (Brother Trucker). Frank explains that he barely sees his family because of his schedule. He makes a call and because of the signal is transferred to the operator, Heather Lamb. She, Sharon Atkins, and Enid DuBois explain that sometimes it's hard not to listen in on phone conversations. Dolores Dante loves her job and is proud to be a waitress (It's an Art). At the park Joe Zutty, a retired man, talks about his life (Joe). He spends his days as a volunteer firefighter. Tom Patrick, who also works as a firefighter, gets emotional talking about the lives he saved. Maggie Holmes talks about wanting a better life for her daughter (Cleanin' Woman). Finally, Ralph Werner recounts his dream life. Mike Dillard comes back and relates how much time he has missed with his family because of work (Fathers and Sons). The ensemble boasts about their accomplishments as workers (Something to Point To).

Musical Numbers

Act I

Title Writers Characters
All the Livelong Day Walt Whitman, Schwartz company
Lovin' Al Grant Al Calinda with ensemble
The Mason Carnella -
Neat to Be a Newsboy Schwartz John Rushton, newsboys
Nobody Tell Me How Rodgers & Birkenhead Rose Hoffman
Treasure Island Trio Brourman a dance
Un Mejor Dia Vendra Taylor, Daniele & Landers Emilio Hernandez & migrants
Just A Housewife Carnelia Kate Rushton, housewives
Millwork Brourman & Schwartz -
Nightskate Brourman & Schwartz Marco Camerone
Joe Carnelia Joe Zutty
If I Could've Been Grant company

Act II

Title Writers Characters
It's An Art Schwartz Delores Dante with customers
Brother Trucker Taylor Dave McCormick, Frank Decker
Husbands And Wives Brourman Mr. & Mrs. Page, Mr. & Mrs. Robinson, Mr. & Mrs. Devlin, couples
Fathers and Sons Schwartz -
Cleanin' Women Grant Maggie Holmes
Something to Point To Carnelia company


  • Mike LeFevre, steelworker
  • Al Calinda, parking lot attendant
  • Nora Watson, editor
  • John Fortune, advertising copy chief
  • Diane Wilson, secretary
  • Herb Rosen, corporate executive
  • Anthony Palazzo, stonemason
  • John Rushton, newsboy
  • Rose Hoffman, teacher
  • Babe Secoli, supermarket checker
  • Brett Meyer, boxboy
  • Emilio Hernandez, migrant worker
  • Conrad Swibel, gas meter reader
  • Kate Rushton, housewife
  • Barbara Herrick, agency vice-president
  • Terry Mason, stewardess
  • Jill Torrance, model
  • Roberta Victor, call girl
  • Grace Clements, millworker
  • Bud Jonas, football coach
  • Marco Camerone, hockey player
  • Joe Zutty, retired shipping clerk
  • Tom Patrick, fireman
  • Benny Blue, bar pianist
  • Delores Dante, waitress
  • Heather Lamb, telephone operator
  • Fran Swenson, hotel switchboard operator
  • Sharon Atkins, receptionist
  • Frank Decker, interstate trucker
  • Dave McCormick, interstate trucker
  • Booker Page, seaman
  • Lucille Page, Booker's wife
  • Will Robinson, bus driver
  • JoAnne Robinson, Will's wife
  • Tim Devlin, salesman
  • Carla Devlin, Tim's wife
  • Ralph Werner, tie salesman
  • Cathleen Moran, hospital aide
  • Charlie Blossom, copy boy
  • Maggie Holmes, cleaning woman

Production History

Date Venue Company
May 14, 1978 46th Street Theatre
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