Dolores Huerta Will Join Tim Robbins For Post-Performance Talkback For WE LIVE ON

We Live On now in its world premiere through September 4, is based on Hard Times by Studs Terkel, with additional text by Tim Robbins and the cast.

By: Aug. 04, 2021
Dolores Huerta Will Join Tim Robbins For Post-Performance Talkback For WE LIVE ON

The Actors' Gang Theater will host a special talkback following the Friday, August 6 performance of We Live On, with Dolores Huerta, Founder & President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, who joins Artistic Director Tim Robbins on a panel moderated by Mariana Da Silva.

Da Silva tells Huerta's story onstage; she is also co-founder of El Cine, a nonprofit dedicated to providing film education for the cost of a movie ticket to marginalized communities, predominantly Latinx. We Live On now in its world premiere through September 4, is based on Hard Times by Studs Terkel, with additional text by Tim Robbins and the cast.

Under Robbins' direction, this live virtual production is presented in three parts. With music by Cameron Dye and David Robbins, this world premiere features 30 accounts of the Great Depression, including those of Huerta, Dorothy Day, and Cesar Chavez. All tickets are Pay-What-You-Can and are available online at or 310-838-4264.

Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist and community organizer. She has worked for labor rights and social justice for over 50 years. In 1962, she and Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union. She served as Vice President and played a critical role in many of the union's accomplishments for four decades.

In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation $100,000 prize for Creative Citizenship which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). DHF is connecting groundbreaking community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters; advocate for education reform; bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities; advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community; and create strong leadership development.

She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

About We Live On

We Live On, a live virtual production, will run through September 4th. Each part presents ten stories and stands as a complete experience. Audiences around the globe can also join online prerecorded screening every Sunday, between through September 5th, at 9 am (PT) for Part One, at 10:30 am (PT) for Part Two, at 12 pm (PT) for Part Three. This marks the first Actors' Gang mainstage production since the theater closed its doors in March of 2020.

Fifty-one years ago, author and chronicler of the common man, Studs Terkel, interviewed businessmen, auto workers, farmers, hobos, striptease artists, repo men, seamstresses, and labor leaders and asked them what it was like to live through the Great Depression. Their words of survival have a direct link to the challenges faced worldwide during the COVID pandemic.

About a year ago, on Hard Times' 50th anniversary, faced with the inability to assemble, The Actors' Gang started working via zoom to adapt Terkel's Hard Times. The production explores 30 different stories - a mix of stories documented by Terkel and original stories from the family histories of cast members - of courage and determination, a testimony of what it takes to survive unprecedented times, which are now presented over three different performances.

"We started developing We Live On in April of 2020 and it started with a question: How do we, as artists, address the fear of this time, the loss, the desperation, the lines at food banks, the poverty?

We weren't interested in distraction, or avoidance of this historic time we were living through. We wanted material that was challenging and addressed the difficulties of living in desperate times. At the same time, it was essential to tell the stories of survivors, knowing that the courage and resilience of those that made it through the Great Depression could provide inspiration and hope for our audiences today.

I was lucky enough to meet Studs Terkel - a longtime hero of mine, a journalist that gave voice to the anonymous, the forgotten -- and interview him for LACMA before he passed. Studs was such an important documentarian of the human condition, of what it takes to survive through hardship.

These voices from Hard Times that Studs has left us, remain resonant and essential today, perhaps more so than when they were chronicled back in 1970, a reminder of the tenacity, faith and love it will take for us to rebound from the trauma, unprecedented isolation, and loss of loved ones that we have recently lived through.

As actors, I think it's important to find this kind of material to wrestle with. I'm blessed to have a company of actors that understand not only the importance of getting to the truth of difficult subject matter but also, in this challenging time of being apart, getting to that truth in community with each other. It is our hope to create that community throughout the world with our audiences in an intimate, personal and immediate way. We Live On is a piece born from loss and the limitations of lock down that seeks to create healing and catharsis and hope for a shook up world." -Tim Robbins

The Actors' Gang Theater strives to make its content accessible to all patrons. Admission is Pay What You Can but the theater is extending free tickets to patrons who can't afford to make a donation. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or access to free tickets, please email at

Some of the stories presented in We Live On include:

Sally Rand, whose fan dance to the strains of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" and Chopin's "Waltz in C Sharp Minor," created a sensation at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and helped launch a career that lasted more than 30 years. (Based on Studs Terkel's interview with Sally Rand)

Labor activist Cesar Chavez, who was moved to action by the targeted mistreatment of field workers that he witnessed as a child in The Great Depression. (Based on Studs Terkel's interview with Cesar Chavez)

Louis Banks, who rode the rails from Arkansas to Los Angeles on top of a boxcar with dreams of becoming a chef and hopes of finding any employment in the North. (Based on Studs Terkel's interview with Louis Banks)

The words of Langston Hughes, the poet of the Harlem Renaissance, performed by contemporary poet Cyrus Roberts.

Activist Dolores Huerta of United Farm Workers discusses farm laborers and immigrant

Stephanie Galindo gives a voice to the hardship of migrant laborers and unearths the stories of the 28 formerly anonymous "Deportees." (Original Story)

Horace Clayton Jr., who left the comforts of his affluent upbringing for a tour of the South Side of Chicago where he was mobilized by the Black community's unified, organized labor protests. (Based on Studs Terkel's interview with Horace Clayton Jr.)

Lawrence Zuckerman opens up to his niece Cady about the long-term effect of his parents' Russian Jewish immigrant experience during The Great Depression. (Original Story)
Ruth Grey Ratner survived a harrowing upbringing in The Great Depression, and as she tells Hannah Hartman, has no worries about surviving the pandemic. (Original Story)

Dorothy Day, the Catholic social activist, and her work with the homeless, the hungry, the impoverished of New York City throughout the Great Depression (Based on Studs Terkel's interview with Dorothy Day)

We Live On Part One cast includes: Jeronimo Spinx (Louis Banks), Guebri VanOver (Dynamite Garland), Mary Eileen O'Donnell (Harry O'Donnell - her father), Josh Latzer (Martin DeVries ), Stephanie G. Galindo (Anonymous ), Hannah Hartman ( Ruth Gray Ratner - her family friend), Jeanette Horn (Evelyn Finn), Vincent Foster (Harry Hartman ), Dora Kiss (Julia Walther), and Cihan Sahin (Marshall and Steve).

We Live On Part Two cast includes: Ana Ming Bostwick-Singer (Olga & William Bostwick - her Grandmother & Grandfather), Adam J. Jefferis (Slim Collier), Mariana Da Silva (Dolores Huerta), Patti Tippo (Sally Rand),Gratiela Brancusi (Jane Yoder), Stephanie Pinnock (Elsa Ponselle), Luis Quintana (Jose Yglesias), Jeremie Loncka (Harry & Peter Loncka - his Grandfather & Great Grandfather), Miroslav Vejnovic (Ed Paulsen), and Bob Turton (Hank Oettinger).

We Live On Part Three cast includes: Stephan Smith (Horace R. Cayton Jr.), Cady Zuckerman (Lawrence Jay Zuckerman), Pedro Shanahan (Bob Stinson), Megan Stogner (Dr. David J. Rossman), Kayla Blake (William Kealohaonalani Sniffen - Her Grandfather), Kathryn Carner (Peggy Terry), Robert Chavez (Cesar Chavez), Adele Robbins (Dorothy Day), Kaili Hollister (Ernest Russell - Her Great Grandfather), and Cyrus Roberts (Langston Hughes).

Free Tickets are available upon request.
Tickets are available online at or by phone at 310-838-4264



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