About BIG WORK
I want more time with my family. I want to leave something behind for others. I want my dreams, not someone else’s, to shape my life. I just want a place to go every day where I feel valued.
On the eve of their 30th birthdays, playwrights Melissa Bergstrom and Kate Marple each felt largely defined by the ways they made their livings. Melissa was struggling with the idea of what it means to be an artist with a day job. And Kate, after retreating into work during a long period of illness, was trying to figure out where work was supposed to fit in the new life she was building. And everywhere they went, it seemed like every person they met asked them the same question, “What do you do?”
Eager to explore the role work plays in shaping both people's sense of self and their relationships, the playwrights interviewed people across the United States, including farmers, pharmacists, retail workers, at-home parents, accountants, housekeepers, and aerospace engineers. What began as conversation about work, quickly evolved into a deeper exploration about what is expected of us, how much control we have in where we end up, what we will leave behind, and whether or not we really can have it all.
Big Work is a documentary play about big feelings. It weaves together verbatim excerpts of interviews with 17 strangers into a modern day meditation on the American Dream and how we define success and ourselves in the 21st century. The portraits of the real people depicted in the play reveal the rich inner lives we all lead, and beckon us to explore what questions we should be asking in order to truly know one another.
Live Performance History
Listen to an Audio Performance
Read the Play
Big Work is available as an e-book (well, really an e-play!), and is also available as part of KindleUnlimited.
Perform the Play
If you are interested in performing the full play, or if you want to use excerpts from the script for any purpose, please contact us.