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"9 to 5: The Musical" brings feminism and country music to Cowan Hall

Performers say audience members can expect some big things

In the musical, three coworkers' scheme to mess with their sexist boss, by giving their workplace a feminine makeover to gain control of their environment that was meant to keep them down. 

Phoebe Mock, a sophomore musical theater major, plays Violet Newstead. She says the audience can expect some entertaining things, including big hair and dancing. 

“People fly in this show, people roll on the ground, lots of really fun Dolley Parton music,” says Mock. “Dolly Parton wrote it. She wrote it and she made all the music.” 

The musical was previously a film and features lyrics by Dolly Parton, and dialogue adapted by Patricia Resnick. The musical has been nominated for four Tony Awards and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009.  

Many of the cast members say they feel a connection to their characters because of their commitment to bettering their lives, and their close feminine friendships. Kailey Souder, a junior musical theater major plays Judy Bernly. Judy is a woman who is mistreated by her husband, Dick, and when he leaves her, Judy decides to get an office job to support herself. Souder says she connects to her character because of her confidence. 

“I think for me Judy just represents like, how confident you can be, and like, being by yourself without being with someone else,” says Souder. “I hope that can play out and show to the audience.” 

Caroline Bowers, junior musical theater major, plays the role based on Dolly Parton named Doralee Rhodes. Bowers says themes of workplace misogyny could make people uncomfortable, but she hopes it will give the audience a feminist perspective.  

“9 to 5: The Musical” will be performed in Fritsche Theater at Cowan Hall. Opening night is April 4, and Otterbein students, faculty and staff can receive free tickets by contacting the box office. 

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