Janice Fronczak
UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts, 308-865-8670

Pajama workers dance their way to romance and raises in the University of Nebraska at Kearney production of “The Pajama Game.”

“The Pajama Game,” a 1950s musical based on the novel “7 ½ Cents” by Richard Bissell, explores the relationships between union workers and management in the Sleep Tite pajama factory.

“This is a very fun, fast moving family show,” said Janice Fronczak, director of the musical and a UNK associate professor of theatre. “The songs are catchy, and the dances are full of color and energy. The music is pure 1950s musical type–simple lyrics with catchy tunes.”

In the musical, a romance blossoms between factory workers Babe, leader of the union grievance committee, and Sid, the new factory superintendent. The relationship comes to a head when the workers strike for a 7 ½ cent pay increase, which sets off a conflict between management and labor, as well as a battle of the sexes.

“The Pajama Game” is the final production of the year for University Theatre. The cast and crew have been preparing for the production since mid-February, practicing four hours a day, and six days a week. In addition, the musical is the largest performance with a cast of more than 20 students.

“It is a huge show, and we wanted to end our season with a ‘feel-good’ musical,” Fronczak said.

“The Pajama Game” first opened on Broadway in 1954 and won a Tony for Best Musical, and in 2006, the musical was revived and won a Tony for Best Revived Musical.

“The Pajama Game” performances will be Wednesday-Saturday, April 13-16, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 17, at 2 p.m., in the Miriam Drake Theatre, which is located in the UNK Fine Arts Building.

Admission is $3 for UNK students, $10 for adults, and $7 for UNK faculty/staff, non-UNK students and seniors. For tickets, or more information, contact the Theatre Box Office at 308.865.8417 or

Members of the theatre faculty, staff and artistic team include: Janice Fronczak, director; Dr. Anne Foradori, musical director; Gary Schaaf, choreographer; Deidra Younghans, dance captain (UNK alum); Sara Ice, costume designer; Mark Wethington, scenic/lighting designer; Rick Scholwin, sound design mentor; and Darin Himmerich, technical director.

The cast and crew are listed below, alphabetically by hometown.

BURWELL– Dillon Nelson, Rudy
CRAWFORD– Colter Lemmon, Hasler
JUNIATA– Addison Heeren, Ralph
KEARNEY– Natalie Burling, Poopsie; Amy Knispel, Babe; and Katherine Ridder, Carmen
LINCOLN– Nate Rocke, Hines and Spencer Wolfe, Charlie
OMAHA– Elizabeth Liebermann, Mae and Kaylie Wilson, Sophie
O’NEILL– Jordan Peterson, Sid
ORD– Ryan Hruza, Prez
PALISADE– JoanAnn Blomstedt, Brenda
ST. LIBORY– Parker Loghry, Max
SCOTTSBLUFF– Rachel Harvey, Virginia
WESTERN– Matthew Schwan, Pop
WILCOX-Logan Farley, Rita
WINSIDE– Kyle Mundil, Joe


BURLINGTON– Codie Milford, Bob

GOODLAND– Jillian Parker, Gladys
MANHATTAN– Carolyn Wirtz, Mabel

UNK students who are responsible for stage management, design and providing musical accompaniment include:AXTELL– Kassandra Wendell, stage manager; DAVID CITY– Megan Buresh, assistant stage manager; FREMONT– Jamie Bentley, assistant scenic designer; HOLDREGE– Michelle Fritz, accompanist; and OMAHA– Crystal Schroeder, assistant stage manager.

UNK out-of-state students’ responsibilities include: LEXINGTON,TENN.– Tony Neisler, sound designer; andCARPENTER, WYO.– Deanna Thrush, assistant costume designer.