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Subversive Theatre: Where pissing you off is only the beginning

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  "We posses within ourselves a great reservoir of physical and spiritual strength to which poetry, fiction and the stage should give voice.  Ours is a social as well as a literary responsibility."

-Langston Hughes
1965

February 26 - March 20, 2010
at the Manny Fried Playhouse

The fourth installment of our annual "Workers' Power Play Series"
 
HARVEST
by Langston Hughes

Directed by Kurt Schneiderman*

Sponsored by the Western New York Area Labor Federation 
and the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County

"[R]ings with forceful anger in the face of injustice"
-- Colin Dabkowski, GUSTO MAGAZINE 3/5/10

click here to read this review

"Don't expect calm, eloquent comment on slavery.  Expect harsh words about working conditions and revolution.  Don't expect calm entertainment.  Expect biting political commentary and an out-of-the-ordinary show."
-- Kristen Henry, EXAMINER.COM 3/2/10

click here to read this review

"[K]udos to the STC for their enthusiasm, vision, and daring.  Union members in attendance can be proud of their valiant, indispensable predecessors." 
-- Grant Golden, BUFFALO RISING MAGAZINE 3/3/10

click here to read this review

Click below for more info...
-- About the Author
-- About the Cast
-- About the Crew
-- About this Play's Production History
-- Directions to the Theatre
-- HARVEST Mainpage
-- Production Photos
-- Subversation Sundays
 
MEDIA COVERAGE:
-- Download Interview on ThinkTwice Radio 3/1/10
-- Buffalo News Review 3/5/10
-- Buffalo Rising Review 3/3/10
-- Examiner.com Review 3/2/10
 
RELATED INFORMATION:
-- Director's Notes
-- Historical Notes: the Labor Movement of the 1930s
--  Historical Notes: Farm Workers' Struggles in California
--
Hughes' HUAC Testimony

     For the fourth installment of our "Workers' Power Play Series," we were proud to present HARVEST by Langston Hughes.  Written during the master poets' extremely radical phase and very open involvement with Marxist politics during the Great Depression, HARVEST is a play based heavily on the real life events of a strike of migrant farm workers in southern California in the 1933.
    
A prime example of our "Workers' Power Play Series" mission to keep alive the lessons of workers' struggles past and present -- this production offered a powerful illustration of the need for Black, white, and Latino workers to overcome their differences and band together against their mutual exploiters. 
     In an interesting twist, our production's Director -- Subversive Theatre Founder & Artistic Director Kurt Schneiderman* -- chose to intersperse the scenes of the play with highly choreographed recitations of several of Langston Hughes' most radical poems along with classic militant union ballads performed live by folk guitarists and singers.  The result was powerful blending of drama, poetry, and song into a stirring mosaic of passion and defiance.
 
     This production was sponsored by the Western New York Area Labor Federation and the Arts Council of Buffalo and Erie County.  An enormous challenge to bring to life on stage, HARVEST featured a massive ensemble of eighteen actors portraying an epic sweep of scenes involving extensive picket lines, strike committee meetings, vigilante mobs, trucks, union halls, strikers' camps, and even huge work details in sprawling cotton fields.  It still seems miraculous that we were able to make it fit onto our cramped little stage!  
   
Here's the rundown on who did what:


THE CAST
(in order of appearance)
Daniel Henderson* . . Jose Rodriguez
Dinash Lal* . . Domingo Rodriguez
Angelina Buscaglia . . Millie Rodriguez
Joy Scime* . . Rosita Rodriguez
 
Rob Dziechciarz . . Adam Dobbs, Ed Lowe
Gabriel Mirizio . . Luther Dobbs, Milt Little
Martha Rothkopf* . . Marty Dobbs
Ryan Berkun . . Shorty Dobbs
 
Tom Izard* . . Motorcycle Cop, Sheriff
 
Thomas Brown . . Buster
Cynthia Maxwell* . . Frankie Mae
Hasheen DeBerry* . . Mack Saunders
Dacia Dunnigan . . Ada Walker
 
Eric Mowery* . . Foreman, others
Guy DeFedericis* . . Seth Floors, Meyers
Gary Darling . . Martin Burtle, Jasper, King
Lawrence Rowswell* . . Harry Tilden, others
 
Lisa Dee . . Jennie Martin
 
Musicians . . Jean Dickson*, Keith Woodin

THE CREW
Director . . Kurt Schneiderman*
Stage Manager . . Rachel Zeller*
 
Set Design . . Dyan O'Connell*
Lighting Design . . Jacob Vogelman
Costume Design . . Paul Stephenson
Sound Design . . John Shotwell*
 
Props . . O'Connell*, Vogelman, Zeller*
Poster Illustration . . Melissa Grosse
Movement Coach . . Monica Karwan*
Dialect Coach . . Megan Callahan*

SPECIAL THANKS FOR THE USE OF PROPS AND COSTUME ITEMS FOR THIS PRODUCTION GOES OUT TO:
Blue Mountain Coffee, Andrew Lasda, Jeff Wilber, and the Theatre Department of the University at Buffalo

SPECIAL THANKS FOR THEATRE PAINTING, CARPENTRY, AND SET UP FOR THIS PRODUCTION GOES OUT TO:
Michael Fanelli*, Tom Izard*, and Tom Scahill*

* = indicates members of the Subversive Theatre Collective

Copyright (c) 2002-13, Subversive Theatre Collective.  All rights reserved.