Posted in drama, friendship

In Hard Times, Friendships Under Strain

Three men find their loyalties rattled and their friendship shaken when a strike in the plant at which they all work unravels their relationship.

In “On the Line,” playwright Joe Roland looks at how who we are is
defined by where we come from and what we do.

Dev (Jacob H. Knoll) is unpretentiously a working class guy. “Every morning I get up, I know who I am,” he says, in “On the Line,” playing through November 19th at Canal Park Playhouse. “I know where I’m going, I know what I’m gonna do when I get there….”

Jacob Knoll as Dev, Jedidiah Schultz as Mikey, and Matt Citron as Jimmy. Photo © Jim Baldassare

Dev has been best friends with Mikey (Jedidiah Schultz) and Jimmy (Matt Citron) since first grade. They work together at Mr. Dolan’s plant,and after work, they drink together at Moody’s bar.

Jacob Knoll, with a strong working class New England twang, is superb as the troubled, enraged Dev. At several points, Knoll’s voice tightens as Dev begins to lose his sense of himself.

Both Matt Citron and Jedidiah Schultz are extremely talented actors and very convincing as his buddies, Jimmy and Mikey. Michael Tisdale’s directs with a deft understanding.

When the plant is shut down by a strike, Dev’s grit is tested in the course of “On the Line.” He is a working man, and a working man has to work to be a working man. If he knows who he is, he has to stubbornly stick to that principle at any cost.

This production fills the small 55-seat space at the Canal Park Playhouse beautifully, using sound (by Colin Alexander) and projections (designed by Ryan Dickie under the Technical Direction of Vadim Ledvin) to add mood and depth.

Jacob Knoll (front) as Dev and Matt Citron (back) as Jimmy, at work in “On the Line.” Photo © Jim Baldassare

For more information and for a schedule of performances, visit


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