Sweat: Play Short Essay - Answer Key

Lynn Nottage
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1. How is the theme of racial tension presented by the playwright before any dialogue is even spoken?

The tableau of Jason and Evan sitting across a table from one another is already a strong indicator of race as a main theme within the play even before any dialogue is spoken. Evan, a black parole officer, is sitting across from Jason, a recent parolee, whose face is covered in white supremacist tattoos.

2. Why does Cynthia decide to pursue the open management position at Olstead's?

Cynthia feels that after 24 years of work on the factory floor, she is qualified to move into a management position. She has also begun to be concerned about the physical toll that the manual labor is taking on her body.

3. Characterize Evan's methods of performing his job as a parole officer.

Evan is a caring individual who remembers details about his parolees' lives and does his best to help them transition back into normal life after prison. He is very direct and honest, however, using tough love liberally when it is needed.

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