‘Paper or Plastic’ takes a comedic look at the world of teenage employment

Jessica Gill already has a part-time job, but she wants you to know it’s nothing like the one she has on stage.

Gill plays the lead role in ‘Paper or Plastic’, a one-act comedy by Werner Trieschmann that hits the stage for one night only at the Carlton Cafetorium.

Trieschmann’s play focuses on the trials and tribulations that come with first-time job. Gill said she’s happy to play the role, but glad it bears little resemblance to her real-life work experience.

“I have a great job,” she told the Herald with a chuckle. “I actually work at Fresh Air Experience, right next door to you guys, but it’s a contrast between working a job where your co-workers are strange and the customers are weird, to working my job, where I have a good part-time job.”

The play focuses on Gill’s character, Sara, a teenager who gets a job at a grocery store at her mother’s insistence. Throughout it all she encounters weird customers, tedious bosses, and learns to navigate the world of retail employment.

“I hope (attendees) see the humour because at the end of it, it is a comedy,” Gill said. “It’s a play about teenagers, made by teenagers, so we’ve infused our own experiences in our part-time jobs, and I think that’s what really makes it fun.”

‘Paper or Plastic’ marks a return to normal for the drama club, which put many activities on hold during COVID-19. Gill and her fellow performers say they’re just happy to be back on stage, performing in front of an audience.

“I’ve missed doing all the theatre arts things,” said Luthar Wiberg, who plays Carl, the grocery store assistant manager. “Now that we’re getting back into it, I’m really excited to do this for our community and our school. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

By his own admission, Wiberg’s character is “kind of annoying” and “full of himself.” Regardless, Wiberg said it was fun to get into the character’s skin, and work on a play with his fellow theatre students.

“I don’t think it really mattered to me that it was a comedy. I think I would have done pretty much every play, but being a comedy really helps,” he said. “That’s the stuff I watch and stuff I listen to.”

‘Paper or Plastic’ begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 at the Cafetorium in Carlton Comprehensive Public High School. Tickets are available at the door.

Adults get in for $10, or $5 plus a donation to the food bank. Students get in for $5, or free with a food bank donation. Children 12 and under are free.

‘Paper or Plastic’ is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Illinois.

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