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BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL, Part Two Comes to Metropolitan Playhouse

Experience the final chapter of this socially conscious melodrama.

BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL, Part Two Comes to Metropolitan Playhouse

Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents a new free "screened" reading, live-streamed at no charge, with its groundbreaking, signature visual wizardry, and a talkback to follow: BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL - Part Two, by Charles Foster, streaming April 24/2021 at 8:00 pm (Eastern) through April 28/2021 at 10:00 pm (Eastern). Tickets available at: www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/watchbertha

The video will be available on the Metropolitan Playhouse YouTube channel, and the Metropolitan Playhouse Facebook page. Part One of the play runs from April 17 to April 21, 2021

The surprising Conclusion of the travails of Bertha Bascomb. The model of virtue and integrity, she toils as a sewing machine operator, but framed for theft by an envious co-worker in Part One, she spends five years in prison. On her release, with prospects dim, she is subjected to the advances of a lascivious employer, while still beset by a malicious villain whose motive remain obscure. Her only salvation may be a drunken wastrel whose life she must turn around if she hopes to get out of the sweatshop, stay out of prison, and keep out of wedlock. Leave it to BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL.

Springing from the maudlin pages of the "The New York Weekly" onto the stage of the Bowery Theater in 1871, BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL was a social cause brought to life, and she thrived for the last three decades of the 19th century. She found life again in a new version in 1906 and in 1939 through the powerful International Ladies Garment Workers Union on their Labor Stage as "Pins and Needles."

The popularity of the play attests to the enduring appeal of the sincere if broad renderings of human conflicts and aspirations, as well as the essential truths at the play's heart: the just are bedeviled by the selfish, the fortunate by the resentful, the powerless by the powerful, and chance plays a far greater role in our day-to-day then we wish. At this moment of serious inquiry into social inequities, this high dudgeon melodrama speaks more clearly and truthfully than it has for years.

Metropolitan's reading embraces the promise of the two-dimensional drama with all the glories of two-dimensional "staging" that the company has magically embraced over the course of the pandemic.

Discussion including audience participation follows the reading with
Michelle Granshaw, PhD, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and Richardo Rocha, Lecturere in Theatre, Film, and Digital Production at University of California, Riverside.

The production features a cast of 14 under the direction of Artistic Director, Alex Roe, and includes Becca Ballenger, Craig Anthony Bannister, John Blaylock, Diego Carvajal, Margaret Catov, Linus Gelber, Tyler Kent, Peter Loureiro, Beethovan Oden, Madelynn Poulson, David Logan Rankin, Jay Romero, Hannah Sharafian, and Tom Staggs. Graphic Art by Medusa Studio.


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