By Mike Ramey, October 28th, 2016
It’s half past seven when I arrive at the Theater Nova, a small venue tucked away within the Yellow Barn of Ann Arbor. The nearly sold-out crowd is buzzing; Old friends introducing each other to new friends, family members hugging and catching up, all here to see Tim Campos’ one-man-play Screw It: Doin’ Tim on the Line. Tim’s Dad, a retired line worker, proudly dons his expired Ford badge “This was before people could scan-in. See?” further validating the fact that this isn’t just any play.
Screw It, chronicles Tim’s time spent working on Ford’s manufacturing lines. Drawing from his real life, the story begins with Tim’s first-day introduction to the Ford Saline plant, circa 1998. He vividly recalls the dreadful walk from the front-office orientation room to The Line, complete with cat-calls and other prison-esque banter shouted from the then-current workers.
Stinkbomb, Skeletor, Biscuts n’ Gravy, Old Style, and Druggie, are just some of the characters we come across. Drawn from his real life coworkers, Campos plays them with an honest, unbridled fear, adding a sometimes cringe-worthy, non-p/c, but always realistic and colorful element to the play. As the story progresses, Campos comes to the realization that leaving The Line isn’t as simple as giving his two-weeks. Coworkers become friends, friends become family and the complexities of his daily life dictates his future plans.
Clearly written and performed with a thoughtful sense of nostalgia, Screw It is a heartfelt and hilarious, one-man, one hour, play which pays homage to the blue collar men and women he’s had the seemingly genuine pleasure to work along-side. Those of us who have ever worked on a mass production line can easily relate to the play, and anyone who hasn’t will leave, knowing what it’s really like.
Screw It: Doin’ Time on the Line plays at the Theater Nova, (410 W. Huron St. Ann Arbor) and has three more performances:
• Friday, October 28, contributing musician Ray Smetana will perform an acoustic set after the performance.
• Saturday, October 29, Kelly Campos, former mainstage performer for Second City Detroit, will perform an acoustic set featuring guitar and the djembe, an African hand drum, after the performance.
• Sunday, October 30, there will be a talk back following the performance.
Tickets can be purchased through the Theater Nova box office or online, here