Triangle factory fire project

A great play tugs at your emotional core. The co-proprietors of the factory, Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, were charged with manslaughter, but later acquitted. In the Triangle Waist Factory off downtown Manhattan's Washington Square—where immigrant workers from Poland, Russia, and Italy toil fourteen-hour days making lady's dresses—a cigarette is tossed into a bin of fabric scraps.

triangle factory fire facts

His European Samuel Bernstein, on the other hand, is unconvincing. The strength of the performances, it seems, correlates with the strength of the accents. The Triangle Factory Fire Project is the story of the fire — mostly from the perspective of several of the women victims and survivors — and the court case that followed.

Triangle factory fire project

It's likely that no one leaves the theater unmoved by what's recalled in searing detail; it's even possible that some observers will be moved to do something about contemporary workplace injustices. In the space of twenty-eight minutes, the fire is under control, but people, mainly young immigrant girls, have died. The play is too weighty for its own good; it buckles under the pressure to be significant. Scores of burning bodies rained down on the streets below. Few of the accents are any good despite the several European countries represented by the immigrant women, most sound vaguely and comically Russian , but they help avoid confusion. Documentary theater is polemical -- and, at a time when there's so much to be outraged about, what's wrong with that? The Laramie Project, which concerns the death of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, follows Deavere's formula, though it requires an ensemble rather than a solo performer. Of course, they put on various accents for each of their characters. Piehler has chosen to examine the catastrophe through the life and death of one of the employees, Margaret Schwartz Rachel Fowler , a composite of three women who died just inside the locked door; this character is the only instance in which the dramatist interferes with the facts. Rafe Corkhill is deeply affecting as Officer John Meehan, trying in a short scene to reason with a grieving mother of one of the victims, probably because his Irish brogue — subtle, not overplayed — is respectable. He brings on breathless co-workers and even a New York University law professor Kyle Fabel , observing from a nearby building, to announce the fire's progress with mounting terror. His European Samuel Bernstein, on the other hand, is unconvincing. There's something compelling about theater documentaries such as this one, especially at a time when film documentaries appear to have a broadening appeal.

But documentaries call for different standards of judgment than plays. The skilled performers show up in muted period clothes as the suffrage-plugging Mrs.

Triangle factory fire project review

Dozens leap from the windows to their deaths, shocking the crowd of onlookers gathered below. On the ninth floor, some make it to the fire escape, only to have it collapse beneath their weight. Everyone involved does a brilliant job in this searing play, which reminds us why theatre exists. Panic-stricken workers run in all directions. On March 25, , a fire of unknown origin — possibly caused by a cigarette — broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. Piehler's work is the latest in a series of similar enterprises that can't rightly be called plays. The pace, already uneven, stops dead in its tracks with a drawn-out courtroom scene involving petty squabbling over minute points. As a result of the negligence that was assumed to have accounted for more than deaths, fire law reforms were enacted. The trial -- wherein proprietors Blanck Timothy McCracken and Harris Bennett again deny knowing anything about the alleged locked door and other witnesses deny being paid to swear that the door was always unlocked -- provokes another kind of fury. The factory employed some immigrant workers, mostly women; of them were killed in the blaze. Piehler has chosen to examine the catastrophe through the life and death of one of the employees, Margaret Schwartz Rachel Fowler , a composite of three women who died just inside the locked door; this character is the only instance in which the dramatist interferes with the facts.

Documentary theater is polemical -- and, at a time when there's so much to be outraged about, what's wrong with that? Except out of the windows. An overall note for the cast: Shouting is not acting, and should not be used to convey emotion. The warning came too late, the elevator stopped working, the fire escape collapsed and one of the doors leading down to the safer floors below was apparently locked.

Rated 6/10 based on 91 review
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'Fire' leaves audience charred