Downtown Art Presents The Waistmakers' Opera 3/20-27

Downtown Art joins the citywide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, bringing back The Waistmakers' Opera, an original rock opera performed by a company of 16 teen girls, for three final performances, March 20, 26, and 27.

The Waistmakers' Opera tells the story of the 'Uprising of the 20,000' within the context of the fire. The strike, which took place a year before the fire, was the first major strike led by women in the U.S. Young shirtwaist makers, most of them teenage girls, shook New York's leading industry with a surprising show of solidarity and strength, enflaming a national debate on the role of women in the new century. The opposition to the strike was fierce, led by the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the dominant leaders of the garment-making industry at the time, who never ultimately signed an agreement with the young union.

One year later, March 25, 1911, the Triangle Factory was engulfed in a devastating fire. 146 workers, most of them girls, died within half an hour. The emergency doors were locked, the single fire escape collapsed, and the fire truck ladders were too short to reach the upper floors where the workers were trapped.

The Waistmakers' Opera remembers those that died in the fire, not as victims - but as courageous young women whose ideas of justice and determination changed our city.

composed by Michael Hickey, libretto and direction by Ryan Gilliam
performed by a company of teen girls and live band
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students and seniors
Sunday 3/20 at 2:30pm, Sat 3/26 at 2:30pm; Sunday 3/26 at 2:30pm
Performances begin outdoors at the site of the former Triangle factory, the corner of Washington and Greene Street; ending indoors at Millennium Film Workshop, 66 E. 4th Street.
Downtown Art: 212.479.0885.
For tickets and additional information, go to

For further information on the 100th anniversary activities commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, visit Remember the Triangle Coalition.

Downtown Art works with teens, ages 12-19, to create original theater, music, and performance events and to champion the capacities of young people in a world which often dismisses their contributions.

This project is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Additional support was received from the Weprin Foundation, Emma Shaefer Charitable Trust, the van Itallie Foundation, NYU Community Fund, and from the Nancy Quinn Fund at ART/New York. Downtown Art is a founding member of Fourth Arts Block (FAB) and the East 4th Street Cultural District.

Downtown Art, 61 E. 4th Street, NYC 10003 212-479-0885/917-587-6889

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