Public Employee Press
for budding playwrights
Local 1549 member Jacquetta Williams on stage with actor Jeffrey
Joseph as the client Mr. Jones in her play, More
Than a Paycheck.
By Jane LaTOUR
When she wrote More Than a Paycheck, Local 1549 member Jacquetta
Williams wanted to touch people on the level of social awareness.
The play, staged Jan. 12 at the Blue Heron Arts Center, forcefully depicted
the dangers that many public employees face as they encounter the citys
most desperate people the sick, the contagious, the mentally disturbed.
Ms. Williams, an Eligibility Specialist, was one of several union members
whose one-act plays entertained family, friends and co-workers at the
second annual Theater Works presentation. The DC 37 Education Fund and
the Working Theater co-sponsor the program, which uses a creative
approach to develop writing and speaking skills.
In the 12-week course, each student writes a play based on a work experience.
This class is therapeutic, said Emergency Medical Technician
Kimberly Perez, a member of Local 2507, and author of Penny Speaks
Out. Its a place to speak out about things you cant
talk about at home or on the job. You relieve your stress by writing about
The Malodorous Co-worker, by Police Administrative Aide Gardenia
Lamb, got the evening off to a lively start. I was looking for something
comical. I write about whats happening, said Ms. Lamb, who
has worked for the Police Dept. for 25 years.
In A Daily Attempt, Local 375 member and Housing Development
Specialist Chris Dewees combined comedy and drama to stark effect. Sometimes
our personal lives impact on our lives in the workplace. My character
wants someone to listen to her, he explained.
Yolanda Whites play, The Grab Bag, concluded the program.
Just seeing the reaction and getting positive responses proved to
me that I have a talent and I need to further it, said Ms. White,
a Technical Adviser for Food Safety and a member of Department of Education
Employees Local 372.
For Ed Fund Program Coordinator Cathy Browne, the move to the theater
from the union building added energy to the total production.
This just makes me want to write more, said Ms. Williams,
who provides AIDS services at the Human Resources Administration. Chris
Dewees summed up the experience: Emotionally, I was changed. Its
a natural high. It was a thrilling experience.
Classes begin in March and meet on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at
DC 37. For more information, contact Cathy Browne by Feb. 15 at 212-815-1676.
Return to: Cathy Browne, Program Coordinator, DC 37 Education
125 Barclay St., Room 814, New York, N.Y. 10007
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