Cast members performing
Theatre and Dance News

Coming Soon: Working (a Musical)!

An interdepartmental collaboration of Theatre, Dance, and Television Production, Working will premiere as part of the department’s Virtual Festival.

Posted in: Announcements

Working, A Musical, filmed on site at Montclair State

The Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present a virtual production of Working (a Musical)! Directed by Peter Flynn, with choreography by Hollie E. Wright, and musical direction by Sarah Brett England, Working is broadcasting April 16-18 as part of our Virtual Festival.

Adapted for Broadway in 1978 by the legendary Stephen Schwartz, Working is a musical based on Studs Terkel’s book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, first published in 1974.

With its vignettes of individual workers’ toil – from farming to waitressing to welding – the show is almost ideally suited for a hybrid production, one that could be rehearsed and recorded via Zoom or, for some musical numbers, in outdoor and/or socially distanced or masked groups.

The Department of Theatre and Dance has captured the unique musical Working on video depicting the beauty and often-unrecognizable people behind the American workforce. Written by award-winning composers and writers like Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), James Taylor, Micki Grant, and Craig Carnelia (Sweet Smell of Success), Working is an examination and celebration of the middle class from their perspective on the job. Based on the best-selling book by journalist Studs Terkel, it is the story of men and women who are the fabric of our nation: the artisanal stonemason, the millworker, the food server, the firefighter, the teacher, the long-distance truck driver, and that most reductive of vocational designations, the homemaker. Special to our production, we interviewed essential and frontline workers during the Covid pandemic and interweave their stories into the musical, making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Virtual Production of “WORKING”



From the book by Studs Terkel
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso with additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg.

Director Peter Flynn
Choreographer Hollie E. Wright
Music Director Sarah Brett England


As well as being an Associate Professor of Musical Theatre at Montclair State University, Peter is a New York based, award winning director who has kept active and innovative throughout the pandemic. He recently created a hybrid teleplay performance of Theresa Rebeck’s Bad Dates starring Andréa Burns for the George Street Playhouse, which received glowing notices from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Peter is also the Founding Artistic Director of Plays In The House, an award-winning play reading series raising money for the Actors’ Fund and NAACP / LDF which was featured on CBS’ Sunday Morning.
New York credits include the off-Broadway premiere of Smart Blonde by Willy Holtzman; Curvy Widow at the Westside Theatre; Chess with Josh Groban & Julia Murney; Funny Girl with Whoopi Goldberg, Jane Krakowski, & Sutton Foster; Our Town with B.D. Wong, and S. Epatha Merkerson; On the 20th Century with Douglas Sills & Marin Mazzie; & Rhapsody in Seth starring Seth Rudetsky.

Peter has also created original musicals for Young People with TheatreworksUSA which have toured nationally for the past 17 years, including Junie B. Jones (two Lucille Lortel Award nominations); Henry and Mudge; Nate the Great; Skippyjon Jones; and Rosie Revere and Friends. Other credits include Sweeney Todd for Connecticut Repertory starring Terrence Mann; Into the Woods for Ford’s Theatre (Helen Hayes Award nominee); Born Yesterday for the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre; Andrea Martin’s one woman show, Andrea Martin: Final Days Everything Must Go; Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop; Gypsy for the St. Louis MUNY; 1776 & Ragtime for Ford’s Theatre; & Man of La Mancha for the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre (Carbonell Award, Best Direction).

Peter is the Board President for Live And In Color a not-for-profit theatre organization dedicated to the development of plays and musicals by and for BIPOC Artists. He is also an Associate Artist at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C; an Artistic Ambassador for the Christchurch International Musical Theatre
Summer School in New Zealand; and a graduate of Northwestern University.


Miss Wright, a Philadelphia native began her professional career at The Philadelphia Dance Company ( Philadanco!).  Miss Wright went on to Broadway working with Maurice Hines in Hot Feet, performing the lead before the show closed. Other favorites regionally and touring; The Color Purple ( 1 st National), Oklahoma ( Arena Stage ( first Black Dream Laurey in a regional theater)) Amazing Grace, and Cabin In The Sky.A BFA in Dance Education, Miss Wright is currently Jazz Chair at The Ailey School, and on faculty at  American Ballet Theater Summer Series. Miss Wright has taught at NYU, SUNY Purchase, Walt Disney Productions and  Harlem School of the Arts to name a few.

Choreography stateside and abroad; some favorites being Universoul Circus, A commercial spot for Party City, production of Dream Girls, Hair, and Disaster The Musical at NYU.  Miss Wright can be seen in the upcoming movie In The Heights in Summer of 2021.


Sarah Brett England has music directed hundreds of shows throughout the country with credits at The Public Shakespeare Initiative, Paper Mill Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company, Pan Asian Rep, Creede Repertory Theatre, Half Moon Theatre, River Valley Rep, Texas Family Musicals, New Harmony Theatre, Ocean City Theatre Company, and on board P&O Australia’s Pacific Dawn cruise ship. She has written arrangements for multiple musicals, including Halloween Hullabaloo, and served as copyist for Tectonic Theater Project’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, Carmen, with music adaptation by Arturo O’Farrill. She has music directed multiple productions at MSU, including Reefer Madness, Guys and Dolls, The Full Monty, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hair, and the annual BFA Musical Theatre Senior Showcase.

View the Virtual Festival