THE DELLS immerses us in the rhythms of Wisconsin Dells, WI, the “waterpark capital of the world.” The town is an overgrowth of resorts, gift shops, and fast-food restaurants, largely staffed by international student workers on temporary J-1 visas. Participants in the State Department’s Work and Travel program, “J-1s” keep the Wisconsin Dells tourist economy afloat with their inexpensive labor.
These student workers come from countries like Turkey, Russia, Romania, Jamaica, Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic and Kazakhstan, among others. Living in motels and dorms, they work multiple jobs – as lifeguards, housekeepers, servers, and retail employees – to make ends meet. THE DELLS is observational buddy comedy that focuses on an ensemble cast of “J-1s,” all feeling their way through a summer in Wisconsin Dells.