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9 to 5: The Musical Hits Ursinus Stage in February

Ursinus College theater rings in the new year with its lively and humorous spring production, 9 to 5: The Musical. In conjunction with the college’s sesquicentennial anniversary year celebration, this musical will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and women’s efforts to achieve workplace equality.

9 to 5: The Musical performances are in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on the Ursinus College campus on Thursday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 29, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m.

Set in 1979, 9 to 5: The Musical follows Consolidated Industries’ employees Violet, Doralee and Judy as they challenge their boss’s sexist and lewd behavior. What begins as a revenge fantasy becomes a revolution in this hilarious musical comedy that celebrates women’s strides in workplace equality and serves as a reminder that the struggle is far from over.

Director and Assistant Professor of Theater Meghan Brodie notes that while the musical is both comic and celebratory, it also demonstrates that the journey for women’s equality continues in the present day. “From reproductive health to representation in government, women are still fighting for autonomy,” she says. “And 9 to 5: The Musical serves as a reminder of this.”

Brodie’s search for musicals by women emphasizes that musical theater is still a male-dominated industry. She explains, “There are surprisingly few musicals with all-women writing teams and it was important to me to direct a musical written by women during the centenary of women winning the vote. Dolly Parton wrote the music and lyrics and Patricia Resnick wrote the book.”

Under Brodie’s direction, the production team—which includes choreography by Ursinus College dancer professor Karen Clemente and musical direction by Florrie Marks—and cast of nearly two dozen actors will bring this fast-paced musical to life on the Lenfest stage.

“Dolly Parton is a national treasure and is just as popular now as she was when she wrote 9 to 5 over forty years ago. Her podcast, ‘Dolly Parton’s America,’ has garnered critical acclaim; she recently launched her Netflix series, Heartstrings; and 9 to 5: The Musical is currently running in London’s West End,” Brodie notes. She adds, “The cast and I are humbled to join this celebration of ‘all things Dolly’ by bringing this hilarious musical to Ursinus College.”

Brodie is joined by professional designers from the Philadelphia area theater community. Meghan Jones is the technical director and scenic designer; Brian Strachan is designing costumes; and Shannon Zura is designing the lighting.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for seniors, students and staff. Tickets can be purchased online at ursinus.edu/tickets and they will be available at the box office before the show. For inquiries, please contact boxoffice@ursinus.edu or (610) 409-3030. —By Jordan Scharaga ’17