Jesse Howard

The Nickel and Dimed Cast and Crew. Front row: Nuweira Ahmed '22, Tess Haskel '20 Second 
row: Bridget Alamu '23, Claire Borchers '20, Gigi Brown '20, Maggie Shen '22 Third row: Ms. 
Rosenberg, Bailey Howard, Saul Salazar '23, Andrew Sperl '21 Back row: Leo Yang '22, Naomi
Gibson '21, Lisa Moon '20, Tad Koenigsbauer '20, Emily Liu '20, and Theater Director Mr. Howard

Thursday, Oct. 31 — Saturday, Nov. 2
7:30 p.m. Allen Theater

Berkshire School’s Theater Department is proud to present its fall production Nickel and Dimed, a play by Joan Holden, based on the 2001 New York Times bestselling book by Barbara Ehrenreich.

The play is about an upper, middle-class essayist who goes into low-wage jobs to find out if it’s possible to make ends meet on minimum wage. The 2001 book is based on actual experiences Ehrenreich had in the wake of late 90s welfare reform when she worked at a fast food restaurant, a “Big Box” store, a cleaning service, and a number of other “unskilled” jobs. It turns out it doesn't take long for Ehrenreich to learn that even the least glamorous jobs require incredible ability, stamina, intelligence, and skill. 

Nickel and Dimed leaves us to ask our own questions. Was Ehrenreich’s time away from her life an unselfish act of undercover journalism? Was it a useful walk in another's shoes? An exercise in privilege? All three? The play poses a lot of questions that are still relevant today, perhaps even more so, and is full of eye-opening insights and sharp humor, which can be summed up in Ehrenreich's own words: "Our whole lives are subsidized. By the working poor. They are our biggest anonymous donors.”

Nickel and Dimed is showing Thursday, October 31st, Friday, November 1st, and Saturday, November 2nd at 7:30 p.m. in the School’s Allen Theater. There is a $2.00 suggested donation at the door. Light refreshments will be available for sale at intermission, and the show runs for about 2 hours. The play is recommended for ages 13 and over, due to some coarse language.