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Stage Left Theater's "Minimum Wage"

Michael Schmidt, Dahveed Bullis and Shaune Gardner (L–R) in the SPR lobby
E.J. Iannelli
Spokane Public Radio
Michael Schmidt, Dahveed Bullis and Shaune Gardner (L–R) in the SPR lobby

The playwright–director and select cast members preview an all-new Spokane play

Dahveed Bullis, Shaune Gardner and Michael Schmidt came into the KPBX studio to talk about Minimum Wage, a brand-new, locally produced play that is premiering at Stage Left Theater next week. The play is set in a fast-food restaurant in Spokane.

Bullis is the playwright of Minimum Wage and is also directing its debut production. Gardner plays its central character, Evan, a single father and aspiring actor who manages the burger joint. Schmidt plays Rob, a rough-around-the edges employee on work release.

After providing some background on their characters, Schmidt and Gardner performed two short scenes between Evan and Rob, one from the beginning of Minimum Wage and the other from the play's second act.

Bullis talked about the play's eight-year development and its workshopping process with Spokane Playwrights Laboratory, an organization he co-founded.

In addition to explaining why the play's Spokane setting was so important to him, Bullis also described the comprehensive, realistic set design. Set designer Cordero Aaron is repurposing kitchen equipment from the now-closed Charley's Grill & Spirits, once a gathering spot for the local theater community, and the design team will be evoking the atmosphere of a fast-food restaurant right down to the smell of frying oil.

Minimum Wage opens at Stage Left Theater on Friday, October 6 and runs there until Sunday, October 22. For tickets or more information, head to the Stage Left Theater website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director
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