German satire about office life makes debut at Simpson

by Melissa FathStaff Writer

“Push-Up 1-3,” the latest production from Theatre Simpson, will open this Friday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances of the production, an office comedy pointing fun at the dramas encountered today in everyday office life, will take place March 1, 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance March 2 at 1 p.m.

The production’s plot surrounds the secrets people tend to keep from each other in the business place, in an attempt to “make it to the top,” and aims to show the willingness of the characters to “push” for their success.

The script originates from Germany. The playwright, Roland Schimmelpfennig, created the script in 2002, and it was then translated into English by Melanie Dreyer.

Tom Woldt, associate professor of theatre arts, will be directing the upcoming production. Woldt notes the play may be making its debut on the higher education theatre scene at Simpson.

“I know it’s a Midwestern premiere for the play and probably a college premiere for the United States,” Woldt said. “I’m struck by how well-written it is. The author makes subtleties apparent through the language.”

“Push-Up 1-3” is setup slightly different from a typical play, with much of the prop changing done right on stage. The play is set in a typical office environment, while the characters perform around the surrounding desks and chairs.

The performance also features monologues by individual characters about their challenges and agendas during the performance, leaving the viewer to piece together for themselves exactly what is happening.

“It places a lot of moral and ethical challenges that the characters have to face,” Woldt said. “The characters often say one thing, but mean another.”

Some of the main actors of the play include sophomore Kyle Bochart, Simpson alum Brandon Hebert and freshmen Tiffany Flory and Katie Rooney.

Rooney plays the part of Maria, the company’s security guard. She is like an onlooker to what is happening among the characters in the story. Rooney says she enjoys the script and believes her outside view of office life as a security guard helped her realize some of the important messages the play.

Sophomore Candace Zak, the stage manager for “Push-Up 1-3” also enjoys the script. She believes that it helps point out the similarities that people have among each other.

“Whether the message you receive is that having sex with your co-workers is a bad idea, everyone is a liar, or something completely different, you will have to decide for yourself,” Zak said.

The box office opens February 20 for the play. Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for non-Simpson students. The box office can be reached by calling 961-1601 or e-mailing