Wednesday, August 25, 2010

‘Waiting for Lefty’ Reflects Today’s Struggles for Economic Justice

Waiting for Lefty Resurrected!
Uprising Radio

In the play Waiting for Lefty, the audience is dropped into a clandestine meeting of New York City taxi drivers as they debate whether to walk off the job and strike. Written by Clifford Odets in 1935, the one-act play was inspired by the real-life strike of 2000 New York taxi drivers in 1934.

With minimal props and set design, the compelling characters and circumstances create a palpable tension between hope and reality. Each individual has been spurred to consider the radical act of striking by personal struggles that are revealed in a series of vignettes. Odets positions the taxi drivers as an exploited workforce brought to the boiling point in a story that is unabashedly critical of capitalism. Sixty five years after it was first performed Waiting For Lefty remains relevant today.

Theater West in North Hollywood presents a Chestnuts production of Waiting for Lefty, opening on Labor Day, September 3rd, and running through October 10th. Theater West was established in 1962, and operates as a non-profit artistic cooperative. Its productions have won national awards including the Tony and Obie, and it has received international acclaim and honors. The Chestnuts program was created in 2005 to produce time honored classic and contemporary works. Chestnuts producing director is Charlie Mount, who joins us in studio today along with Paul Gunning and Kristin Wiegand, two cast members of Waiting for Lefty.

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