The cast of “Nickel and Dimed” (from left to right) Lindsay Obendorf, Douglas Perry, Stephanie Hellmann, Jan Bixler, Kristin Clevenger, A.J. Droddy and Scott Ruby. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
The cast of “Nickel and Dimed” (from left to right) Lindsay Obendorf, Douglas Perry, Stephanie Hellmann, Jan Bixler, Kristin Clevenger, A.J. Droddy and Scott Ruby. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
The Madison Community Players are presenting a new production this weekend. Nickel and Dimed, based on the book "Nickel and Dimed, on (Not) Getting by in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich, follows a middle-aged, middle-class woman who has to learn how to survive working two minimum wage jobs and still struggles to make ends meet.

JoAnne Spiller, president of the Madison Community Players, said each season the acting company looks for plays that have social pertinence.

"We always try to have a social commentary in our theater. So we chose this one because it's relevant for the time," Spiller said. "Madison has an awful lot of people that have to work for minimum wage. These are honest people trying to make a living, but still can't make it work out."

Director of Nickel and Dimed, Kelley Hoagland, said that - beyond the social components - Nickel and Dimed offered the theater company some new challenges.

"We look for something that can stretch us as a company. The play is formatted in a way people probably haven't seen before. It's simplistic. It's not a lavish set."

The show will run over the next two weekends, with shows at 7 p.m. on May 3 and May 4 and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on May 5. The play will run the same times from May 10 through May 12. The May 5 show will be followed by a roundtable discussion over many of the themes in Nickel and Dimed.

Hoagland said representatives from WorkOne and EcO15 will be among the guests on the panel.

"We have an opportunity to talk to audience members that stick around and get a conversation started.

Maybe it's just that. Maybe we get a conversation started and get people thinking."

The plays will be held at the Jefferson County Democrat Headquarters at 406 E. Main St. Running time for the performance is two hours.

Tickets for adults are $10 and $5 for students.