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A Shirtwaist Tale

Friday, October 19, 2007
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Humanist Hall
390 27th Street
midtown Oakland, between Telegraph and Broadway, below Pill Hill

An Original Play in Three Acts
Presented, Written, and Directed by Judith Offer

American labor history, American women’s suffrage, and American Jewish history all come alive on the stage of Humanist Hall for three weeks in October. This artful piece of history and theater is written and directed by the brilliant creative artist, local playwright and poet, Judith Offer. Her Shirtwaist Tale is rich, entrancing, funny, and poignant enough to take off across America. She collaborated with Arkadi Serper to make the music for the play and wrote the words to Arkadi's wonderful music. The result is a vibrant musical set in 1909 in Lower East Side, New York City. It portrays a strike of 30,000 shirtwaist (blouse) makers, mostly women, ages 16-24. Because about 90% of these strikers were Yiddish-speaking Jews, Judith and Arkadi decided to use “klezmer”-style music, the music brought from Eastern European towns to New York City. Judith became a devotee and, inadvertently, a spokesperson for “The 30,000” when she read of their momentous accomplishment, which she mirrors in her libretto for the play. The main characters of her play, Sadie and Dvorah, are compilations from the accounts she read of strikers’ experiences, but two other characters are based on specific individuals: Alva Belmont, the richest woman in New York City and a suffragist; and Rose Schneiderman, a strike organizer and later close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. Of particular interest in this play is the counterpoint of capitalism and socialism developed in dialogue and played out in action. Don't miss this rare opportunity to enjoy real live original musical theater, well conceived, beautifully composed, movingly written, intellectually inviting, and expertly produced by a local playwright!

$20 donations are accepted

Added to the calendar on Wed, Oct 10, 2007 10:45PM
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