MSU Theatre Presents Pulitzer-Winning Play About Race, Economy, and Humanity

Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre presents Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer-Prize winning play “Sweat” March 22-26 in Studio 60 of the Auditorium Building.  

Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, “Sweat” tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.  

A man stands behind a counter while two women stand in front of it in a warmly lit bar. Their faces are expressionless as they gaze at the camera.
The “Sweat” cast members from left to right: Kamryn Sarratt, Michael Bolaños, and Katherine Clemons.

“The play moves between the year 2000 and 2008 in Reading, Pennsylvania, allowing audiences to see how the characters’ current struggles are shaped by their personal histories and the larger forces of economic and social change,” said dramaturg and B.A. Theatre student Basil Rae. “Nottage’s nuanced and realistic portrayal demonstrates the toll that economic hardship takes on individuals and groups, and the ways in which this can breed fear, resentment, and even violence.” 

The play is directed by Ryan Welsh, Assistant Professor of Media Acting.

Tickets for “Sweat” are $23.50 for general admission and $21.50 for senior citizens and MSU faculty and staff. Tickets are available online at, at the Wharton Center box office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON. 

MSU students are free with MSU ID and can obtain their tickets in advance at the Wharton Center ticketing office or at the door. 

Performance Dates and Times 

  • Wednesday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, March 24, at 8 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 25, at 2 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m.  

For more information on the show and other MSU Department of Theatre productions, visit:  

Content Notice: 
This play includes themes of poverty, addiction, racism, and xenophobia. It contains strong language including race- and gender-based slurs and some sexual references. Physical violence is acted out onstage.  

Two women smile at each other in a warmly lit bar. The woman on the right holds a drink.
“Sweat” cast members Kamryn Sarratt (left) and Katherine Clemons (right).