BELOIT - All is not serene at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory, and workers are beginning to speak their minds.
Based on Richard Bissell's 1953 novel "7 1/2 Cents," the Tony Award-winning musical "The Pajama Game" centers around labor rights and an impending strike.
Beloit Memorial High School theater students will tell the story at 7:30 p.m. March 9-10 and 16-17. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinée March 18. Tickets are $5 for students/seniors and $10 for adults.
"The story really is about fighting for what you believe in and want out of life," said Beloit Memorial High School junior Sam Stadelman.
In "The Pajama Game," laborers at the factory are fighting for a 7 1/2 cent raise, as work conditions have been improving at other area factories. It seems as though they aren't being heard or taken seriously by upper management. As the fight drags on, a romance begins to grow between Katherine "Babe" Williams, who is the head of the grievance committee, and Sid Sorokin, the factory's superintendent.
"If you like good theater and want to support the arts in schools, you should come and see the show," Stadelman said. "There are a lot of good laughs in it."
Stadelman is performing as Vernon Hines, the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory's very own timekeeper. It is his job to make sure every second is being used efficiently.
Senior Samantha Grahn is performing as Gladys Hotchkiss, a witty woman who works for the factory's big boss.
"The Pajama Game" will be her final performance at Beloit Memorial.
"Throughout the show there's a few storylines to follow and it's really funny," Grahn said. "It's very bittersweet to have this be my last show."
Director Greg Wallendal said that the show's selection, made months back, wasn't meant to sync with current events, but it does touch on trending issues.
"The show is a comedy but there are real life issues that it touches on, like sexual harassment, and it helps create some awareness for the problems," Grahn said.
The cast of "The Pajama Game" includes Matthew Wick, Sam Stadelman, Nolan Shepherd, Dayton Feldt, Lizzie Sage, Samantha Grahn, Evan Langone, James Morris, Tiyler Alf, Gabriel Munoz, Eric Funk, Tom Gavin, Yajir Martinez, Evelyn Mendoza, Keyera McEachin, Marlie Champeny, Makaylynn Meiers, Kate Gianvecchio, Daisha Thomas, Lyndsey Turner, Leilani Schaller, Autumn Jones, Mackenzie Jensen, Caroline Santas, Justine C. Ranum and Olivia Larson.