*"Sabotage" written by Bob Jacobson
*"Unite" written by Paul Grimstad
*"Take the Key" lyrics by Jonathan Zarov
All other music and lyrics by Andrew Rohn
Temp Slave, a rollicking musical comedy, is a tribute to America's disposable workers. In this modern-day fairy tale, five plucky temps discover and foil an evil senator's plot. The musical was inspired by the popular zine Temp Slave, published by Jeff Kelly, which has been documenting the travails of temp workers since the early 1990s.
After four record-breaking productions in Madison, Temp Slave revamped and went on tour to San Francisco for Laborfest 2001.
The story Temp Slave, the musical begins in the offices of PeoplePower, a temp agency and the world's largest employer. There we meet our five protagonists. Melissa, a journalist, gets an assignment at a chaotic investment firm where three bumbling bosses expect her to build a computer. Alexis, a bohemian computer whiz, takes an "acting" job -- as a chicken handing out cracker samples. Her boyfriend Eddie is a musician whose attempts to avoid work at all costs drive him to be the subject of medical experiments. Maggie is a single mom in a welfare-to-work program who ends up as a taster in a cookie factory. And Sam is a reluctant lawyer who can't ever get to the phone in time to get his temp assignments.
We also meet Dick Solomon, CEO of Peoplepower, lunching with sinister Senator Bob Hartman, who reveals his plan to replace the nation's union workers with temps.After the temps' assignments fail disastrously, they end up temping at the Freedom Institute, which turns out to be a right-wing think tank run by Senator Hartman. There they discover Hartman's plot, and set out to sabotage it.
"Temp Slave is a comedy-with an edge. It is good comedy, but beneath the humor is more reality than some would like to accept."
--David Newby, President
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
"It's not every day that a vehicle comes along that can help change the climate of America toward justice for workers. But Temp Slave is just such a vehicle. I've seen the play twice, and both times I was blown away."
editor, The Progressive
"It's not often that something so illuminating is also so much fun!"
author of Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America
"Delightfully rambunctious, making a powerful statement with zest and humor."
author of A People's History of the United States