FROM THE FIRE Plays Judson Memorial Church

FROM THE FIRE Plays Judson Memorial Church

From the Fire, an original new dramatic oratorio about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, with music composed by Tony-nominated Elizabeth Swados and conceived and directed by Cecilia Rubino -- and written by Rubino with poet Paula Finn -- will be performed at a special theatrical five-day run to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

The performance will be held at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City, just a few blocks from the tragic industrial fire. The show will include sets designed by architect and designer Bonnie Roche-Bronfman. It is choreographed by Eric Jackson Bradley.

On March 25, 1911, 146 immigrant working girls -- mostly from Jewish Eastern European and Italian backgrounds -- jumped or burned to their deaths in a fire on the upper floors of a garment factory on Washington Square in New York City's Greenwich Village. This tragedy galvanized the city and the nation, seeding more social change legislation than any other single event in American history.

The oratorio includes scenes from the spontaneous uprising of the 20,000, the first major strike by women in U.S. history, which preceded the fire, and New York City's dramatic responses to the catastrophic events. The performance piece will also highlight contemporary events that connect to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and its significant legacy.

The multi-media performance piece is sponsored by Eugene Lang College of The New School for Liberal Arts.

Performance Details

Wednesday, March 23 through Saturday March 26, 2011 at 7:30 PM and Sunday March 27 at 6:00PM.

Judson Memorial Church is located at 55 Washington Square South in New York City's Greenwich Village.

Tickets on sale now: $15 general admission and $5 students. Reservations and inquiries can be made by emailing or calling 212-229-5488.


Composer Elizabeth Swados is perhaps best known for her Broadway and international hit Runaways, yet she has composed, written and directed for over 30 years. Her work has been performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Carnegie Hall, and all over the world. Other awards include five Tony nominations, three Obie Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Grant, Helen Hayes Award, Lila Acheson Wallace award, and a PEN Citation.

Writer/Director Cecilia Rubino is on the faculty at Eugene Lang College at The New School for Liberal Arts. Cecilia has also been on the faculty at NYU's Tisch School for the Arts, NYU's Playwrights Horizons Studio and Maurice Kanbar Institute for Film & Television. As a director, she most recently adapted, wrote and directed, Mark Twain: Timeless Humor, performed at the Morgan Library in December, 2010. She is also directing SLAM 102: Verbal Velocity, an interactive performance piece that explores various genres of poetry, celebrates the history of spoken word and gets kids writing for Lincoln Center's Meet the Artist series in January and May, 2011. She has created and directed an array of productions for Lincoln Center's ‘Meet the Artist' series including SLAM 101: Verbal Combat, Mark Twain: Adventures in American Humor and Shakespeare in Action. In conjunction with WNYC producer Sarah Montague, she directed the chorus of the revival of Archibald MacLeish's classic radio drama Fall of the City in May, 2009, at the Jerome L. Green Performance Space. This piece won a 2009 Gracie Award for best local drama. Other directing credits include at the 29th Street Rep, Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Arts Center, NYU and at outdoor Shakespeare Festivals in Brooklyn and Westchester. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Set Designer and Architect Bonnie Roche-Bronfman has a background in modern dance, a keen interest in theater, and a commitment to being an active citizen of New York City. Roche has focused her firm's work in the areas about which she is most passionate, including performing arts theaters, museums, art galleries, public schools, universities, and private residences. Clients include the Vivian Beaumont and Mitzi E. Newhouse theaters at Lincoln Center, the Valentin Blavatnik Orientation Theater at the Center for Jewish History, Town Hall, Yale University Art Gallery and New York Hall of Science. In 2007, Roche was Director of Exhibition Design at Mingei International Museum, receiving a spot in the San Diego Union Tribune's "Top Ten Art Events of ‘07". Roche served on Manhattan's Community Board 5 and is presently on the Board of the NY Hall of Science. In early 2011,she was a presenter at the National Leadership Conference of the Women's Studies & Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School. Roche attended Yale, the Architectural Association in London, and received an M.Arch. from MIT.

Poet Paula Finn's work has been anthologized in "Naming the Waves" (Virago Press) and published in Ikon, Anemone and Calyx (forthcoming), and has been a finalist for the Marianne Moore prize and The Nation/Discovery award. Her forthcoming book is entitled "Eating History." She has worked for over two decades with the labor movement, and currently serves as editor of the journal New Labor Forum, published by CUNY's Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies.

Eric Jackson Bradley: Choreography
Kris Kukul: Music Director
Masataka Odaka: Assistant Music Director/Web Design
Nick Hung: Lighting Design
Niluka Hotaling: Assistant Set Designer/Technical Director
Melissa Trn: Costume Design
Tsubasa Kamei: Assistant Lighting Designer
Richard Dibella: Media Design
Ryan Maeker: Sound Design
Andrew Smrz: Photography
Alisa Benfey: Illustration
Emily Paige: Stage Manager
Kellie Quarton: Assistant Stage Manager

For more information go to

Related Articles

Off-Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...