A Look into the Leading Women Working 9 to 5

Cael Brennan

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9 to 5 features 3 women in 1980 suffering under their cruel sexist boss Franklin Hart, played by Joe Cantin as they are pushed to their limits everyday being forced to swallow their pride and be “his girls”, unable to escape his harassment and their positions as powerless secretaries. The women band together and decide to overcome their boss by kidnapping him, taking his place as CEO and improving upon the harsh working conditions of their office. Today, South Windsor High School has chosen to perform the musical adaptation because of its engaging story and significance within modern day. One of the productions leading women Sarah Cloutier states ,“9 to 5 is important to modern times, as things are so similar but so different.  Today, just like 40 years ago, people are overworked, underpaid, trying to make it on their own, providing for a family, a single parent, etc. While today women may not kidnap their boss, hold him hostage, then ship him off to Bolivia, people are starting to take stands for things they see wrong whether it’s workforce, an environmental issue, a right they’re fighting for, and so on. 9 to 5 shows what can happen when you fight for the things you believe in. People will always fight for things, and there will always be things that happen that need to be fought for, so 9 to 5 will be relevant for a long time.”

Senior, Allsion Samsel played Violet in the South Windsor High School production of “9 to 5”. Allison refers to Violet as,“a single mom of a teenage son and also a widow. She has been at Consolidated the longest and is overlooked for a promotion because she is a woman. Violet is witty, confident and caring and shows many different sides of her in the show.” The role on Broadway was originated by the decorated actress Allison Janney, who provided a performance that our leading actress could utilize in forming her original interpretation, “I watched the Broadway bootleg of “9 to 5”. The original actress, Allison Janney is known for her wit so it was fun to see how Violent was written to act!.” Being Samsel’s first lead role at South Windsor High School, she describes the feeling of getting the role as exciting, and after studying the role of Violet, Samsel found that getting this part was not only a chance to shine but instead discovered how much she adored the part and developed a passion for portraying Violet as accurately as possible.“I love her spunk and wittiness, she has some great one liners! Violet really goes through a transformation during the show. She finally stands up for herself and shows everyone that she can be a woman and a CEO.” Come to the South Windsor High School Production of “9 to 5” to see Samsel spectacularly portray what Violet must overcome in order to become a female CEO.

Senior, Sarah Cloutier, will play Judy in our fall musical “9 to 5”. Cloutier describes Judy as, “a recently divorced woman who is trying to make it on her own for the first time by getting a job at Consolidated.  She has grown up having a man take care of her, most likely going straight from her parents’ house to living with Dick,(Judy’s Ex Husband) and is suddenly having to provide for herself. She’s learning that the real world is much harder than she expected, but throughout the show she learns about herself, and gains confidence in who she is as a person, not as a wife.” Getting a lead role Cloutier referred to as, “has been both exciting and a relief.  I’ve put in a lot of work over the last 3 years to the drama and music departments, so knowing that everything I’ve worked for is paying off makes it all worth it.” A very passionate performer and musical theatre enthusiast, Cloutier plans on utilizing this role as a way to progress her success as an actress and future Performance/Musical Theatre major within college. Being so committed to Judy, Cloutier has prepared through extensive work with her script, her voice teacher, and “One really exciting way I’ve ‘prepared’ for this role is over the summer I was able to get in contact with Stephanie J. Blocks (Original Broadway Cast’s Judy) dresser, who was able to get my script backstage and Ms. Block actually signed the sheet music of “Get Out and Stay Out.” After such an amazing contact with the original Broadway actress, Cloutier says “everytime I hold my script I want to do the role in a way she would be proud of, and I feel like that has driven me the most to do this role to the best of my ability.” In order to see Cloutier’s portrayal of Judy’s pivotal song “Get Out and Stay Out” Join the “9 to 5” cast for our performances this November.

Senior, Jennette Jacobs, will perform as Doralee who Jacobs defines as,“a married woman who is preyed on by her egotistical boss. Her looks get her into trouble because women are jealous and men are only interested in her appearance, not her intelligence.  Doralee is really loyal and if people took the time to understand her they’d find just how valuable she is.” After getting her first leading role Jacobs was enthralled as she has been working hard as a performer to obtain her spotlight for quite some time, “performing has been a part of my life since childhood, it’s big for me because it allows me to express myself and to create an amazing experience.” After getting a leading role Jacobs gained the determination to prepare for the role and a drive to become closer with her fellow cast members, “I prepared for the role by attending regular rehearsals and practicing in my spare time. I’ve taken time backstage to get to know my peers so that onstage we can feel comfortable with each other. Making friends has made my environment more friendly and allowed me to open up.” As Jacobs continued working towards understanding Doralee better, she gained the personal connection that would allow her to perform even more impressively.“She feels isolated which I can relate to and sometimes she feels like people don’t see how smart she is. They take her for granted. I don’t exactly speak with a lot of intellect or sound super smart so I feel like people judge me too.” Come to the remaining shows to watch Jacobs portray Doralee overcoming her isolation in the upcoming shows.

In our Thursday show, the audience was encapsulated by the show as all the performers on stage shined, every member of the show displayed their passion. Leads Samsel, Cloutier, Jacobs and  Cantin truly became stars as the applause showered them. They hope you didn’t miss the chance to see them perform by joining the 9 to 5 cast in their upcoming shows. They promise exciting singing and dancing, heart wrenching drama and a load of laughs.