Armed with some homemade liquor and a handgun, the leading ladies in Carroll High School’s production of “9 to 5” (from left) Judy Bernly (played by Lexi Ragaller), Violet Newstead (Taydem Shoesmith) and Doralee Rhodes (Sara Siepker) plot how they would wrest control of the office from their misogynistic boss.
Armed with some homemade liquor and a handgun, the leading ladies in Carroll High School’s production of “9 to 5” (from left) Judy Bernly (played by Lexi Ragaller), Violet Newstead (Taydem Shoesmith) and Doralee Rhodes (Sara Siepker) plot how they would wrest control of the office from their misogynistic boss.

He peeks under his secretary’s skirt — after begging her to sleep with him.

He makes cruel jokes about divorced women while they’re still in the room.

He calls his female employees his “girls.”

He’s Franklin Hart Jr., and the women who work in his office have had enough.

Carroll High School is putting on its version of “9 to 5,” the musical adaptation of the 1980 film starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin about what happens when women in the workplace stand up for themselves against a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”

The musical will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Carroll High School auditorium. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and can be purchased at the Carroll High office during school hours or at the door.

The stars working to break out of the boys club: Violet (played by Taydem Shoesmith), an office leader who is regularly passed over for promotions because she is a woman; Judy (played by Lexi Ragaller), who is working for the first time after getting divorced; and Doralee (played by Sara Siepker), a spirited secretary who is often the target of rumors. Their misogynistic boss, Franklin Hart Jr., is played by Grant Meiners. Many other Carroll High School students star as well.

With spirited musical numbers and sassy dialogue, the characters work their way through a serious topic: workplace sexual harassment.

In a recording, Dolly Parton, who adapted the film into a musical, introduces the production.

“(In 1979), the boss wasn’t interested in no women’s movement — well, of course, unless it was happening beneath his desk,” she said.

Although the subject matter might be considered risqué, it’s critically relevant, said Sonia Walsh, Carroll High School’s head drama and assistant speech coach.

“All the horribly offensive, disgusting things (Hart) says and does, they’re in there, and on the surface that might seem shocking to the random audience-goer, but that’s important to the story so you realize, ‘This is an awful person,’” she said. “To be perfectly truthful, I want people to feel uncomfortable, because you should be appalled by him if you’re a decent person.”

Although Walsh selected the play months ago, it became even more relevant with the recent news that dozens of women have accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

That’s the beauty of theater is it shines a light on things that need to be talked about,” she said. “I do hope that it makes people stop and think, even though it’s got catchy songs and a huge pop-culture element. … I hope it’s like, ‘Wow, we can do better. We can be better than this.’”