The Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe opens its 51st season with POSIBILIDAD, or Death of the Worker.
A small U.S. factory is shutting down. All of the workers are losing their jobs, and to add insult to injury, they have also lost their last two weeks of pay and retirement funds, which were raided over the years to pay stock dividends. On the final day of work, a pregnant employee, suddenly overtaken with labor pains, sits down on the job. Interpreting this as an act of defiance, The Boss calls security. The situation escalates and before anyone has a chance to think, the Workers have accidentally occupied the Factory!
Wilma Bonet directs Rotimi Agbabiaka, Velina Brown, Lisa Hori-Garcia, Maggie Mason, Brian Rivera, Michael Gene Sullivan
in this modern song and tango about politics in the workplace, written by Michael Gene Sullivan, music and lyric by Pat Moran.
Additional dialogue contributed by Ellen Callas.
A message from SFMT
Dear Fellow Workers,.
My name is Michael Gene Sullivan, and I am a member of the Tony Award winning San
Francisco Mime Troupe. As you may know, The Mime Troupe does not do silent mime, but instead does rousing musical comedies and dramas which deal with the economic and political issues of our times from a Working Class perspective. We feel that theater is a very effective way to inform and inspire, dramatizing the struggle of the workers in a human way no other media can, and if itʼs entertaining and professionally sharp so much the better to help the audience deal with the triumphs and bitter truths presented. And whenever possible we present our shows free in parks, getting our message of worker solidarity to the largest, most diverse audience of any theater. From war to corporations corrupting our democracy, from crushing credit debt to factory closings, for over 50 years the San Francisco Mime Troupe has created activist theater to uplift the Working Class, and challenge those who would divide us, or hold us down. This year we have created a show we feel is especially important at this time, as we are all struggle with how to rebuild our lives, economy, and country savaged by years of downsizing, offshoring, and trickle down criminality. It is time for the workers – who created the real
wealth of this nation – to take back our labor, and imagine a new economy which beneﬁts all of us, not just those at the top.
Our play, “Posibilidad, or Death of the Worker” is the story of two factory take-overs by
workers, one in the United States, and one in Argentina. In the Argentinian story the workers occupy an abandoned textile mill, creating a Cooperative, and break free from the mindset that demands Proﬁts over People. The American workers also ﬁnd themselves in control of their factory, and the question of the show is: Can the American factory workers make the leap of faith in themselves to take control and run the factory themselves, work cooperatively with other worker run factories and suppliers? Or will they end up swallowed by the same management upstairs / labor downstairs, stock price above all system that has shown so much disregard for them in the past?
This show is also especially meaningful to the Mime Troupe as we are a worker operated,Collectively run union theater. Artistically successful, award winning, but always struggling in a system that always asks “Whereʼs the Boss?”, the Troupe has worked hard to make sure we, the Workers, remain in charge.
We were recently honored to perform selections from “Posibilidad” at the Plumbers Hall for LaborFest in San Francisco. It was wonderful to perform for an audience of engaged worker activists, and afterwards the idea arose of our performing the entire show at other labor halls, perhaps across the country. We were very excited about the idea, as were the workers at the event, and would very much like to know if you would be interested in working with us to make happen. If you and your local would be interested in being part of a national tour of “Posibilidad” please contact me, and we can begin to work together with other locals across America to bring this show to labor halls everywhere it is wanted. Next year being the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Fire Tragedy the San Francisco Mime Troupe would be proud to be part of commemorating the workers who lost their lives by our re-afﬁrming our commitment to the empowerment of the workers, and to be a part of the events that move us that much closer to all of us taking our rightful place in this country which we, the workers, built.
For show dates and booking contact the SF Mime Troup at http://www.sfmt.org/company/index.php