directed by TAMILLA WOODARD 

McGuire Proscenium Stage

A Pulitzer Prize-winning drama

Reading, Pennsylvania, is a blue-collar town with generations of hardworking folks, many of whom work at Olstead’s factory and down cold beers together after hours. But the post-Y2K economy is changing, NAFTA is a new reality and rumors fly about layoffs. Promotions and pride inevitably collide, forming cracks in decades-old friendships that crumble when the factory breaks with the union. From the politically charged opening scene to its electrifying conclusion, Sweat boldly confronts issues of race, immigration, deindustrialization and the ever-slipping grip on middle-class life — all with Nottage’s signature humor and heart.

Three things to know

  • Playwright Lynn Nottage is the first, and remains the only, woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice (Ruined in 2009 and Sweat in 2017).
  • She wrote Sweat after conducting two years of interviews with the citizens of Reading, Pennsylvania, in the heart of America’s Rust Belt.
  • Nottage had two shows open on Broadway in fall 2021: Clyde’s, a Guthrie commission (formerly titled Floyd’s) that premiered on our stage in 2019, and MJ the Musical featuring the music of pop icon Michael Jackson.

Ticket prices

Prices range from $15 to $80.

Pro tip: Preview performances start at $15 (July 16–21). Hurry, these go quickly! 

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Health and safety

All audience members, regardless of age, must wear a mask that securely covers the nose and mouth (no bandanas, neck gaiters or face shields) when entering and inside the theater. Proof of vaccination is not required to see a performance at the Guthrie.

Run time

Approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes (including intermission).

Content advisory 

This production contains mature language and themes. See below or call the Box Office for more information.

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Venue info 

Sweat will take place on the McGuire Proscenium Stage.

Pro tip: Can't do stairs or have a special seating request? Call the Box Office for details. 


ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances are available on select dates.

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Relaxed performance

The Guthrie will offer a relaxed performance of Sweat on Sunday, August 14 at 1 p.m. Although these performances are open to all patrons, they are intentionally modified to accommodate patrons with sensory and vestibular sensitivities, anxiety, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, learning differences or challenges attending the theater.

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Post-play discussions

Join us after select performances for a 20-minute conversation facilitated by Director of Community Engagement Rebecca Noon and featuring local experts in U.S. history and labor unions. Cast members may join the discussion as they are able.

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Play guide

Want to dig deeper into this story? Download the play guide or the digital program



Ansa Akyea


Mary Bacon


Terry B. Bell


Darius D. Dotch


Lynnette R. Freeman


Terry Hempleman


Noah Plomgren


Antonio Rios-Luna


Amy Staats


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Creative Team

Lynn Nottage


Tamilla Woodard


Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams

Scenic Designer

Sarita Fellows

Costume Designer

Alan C. Edwards

Lighting Designer

Luqman Brown

Sound Designer

Katherine Freer

Projection Designer

Carla Steen

Resident Dramaturg

Keely Wolter

Vocal Coach

Aaron Preusse

Fight Director

Karl Alphonso

Stage Manager

Olivia Louise Tree Plath

Assistant Stage Manager

Jennifer Liestman

Resident Casting Director

Shae Palic


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In the news

“It is about the world we’re living in.”

Rohan Preston of the Star Tribune explores how Lynn Nottages Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Sweat captures the things that vex contemporary America. 

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“Seldom will you encounter a more eloquently realistic script, and the Guthrie production features a cast committed to telling Reading’s story with a resonant ring of truth.”

Read more in the Pioneer Press


Stage Craft with Tamilla Woodard

Go backstage with Director Tamilla Woodard as she discusses the themes and characters in the Pulitzer Prize-winning SWEAT and what it's been like to direct a Lynn Nottage play for the first time.


Terry Bell (Chris), Terry Hempleman (Stan), Noah Plomgren (Jason). Photo: Dan Norman

Lynnette R. Freeman (Cynthia), Mary Bacon (Tracey). Photo: Dan Norman

Terry Hempleman (Stan), Antonio Rios-Luna (Oscar), Amy Staats (Jessie), Lynnette R. Freeman (Cynthia), Noah Plomgren (Jason), Terry Bell (Chris), Mary Bacon (Tracey). Photo: Dan Norman

Noah Plomgren (Jason), Mary Bacon (Tracey), Terry Hempleman (Stan), Terry Bell (Chris), Antonio Rios-Luna (Oscar). Photo: Dan Norman

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A Pulitzer Prize-winning drama

July 16 – Aug 21

Learn More about Sweat

2023‒2024 Season

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