SHE DIED FOR OUR CONVENIENCE Explores Textile Mills' Feminist History
Strange Attractor Theatre Company in collaboration with composer Chrissy Wolpert, the Providence Preservation Society and a community chorus of (cis & trans) women, two spirit, and non-binary people will be presenting She Died for Our Convenience at the Earnscliffe/Paragon Mills in Olneyville in Providence on May 4, 2019 at 7pm. A choral haunting, She Died for Our Convenience, was created for the Earnscliff/Paragon Mill buildings within the Providence Preservation Society's Sites and Stories Explored initiative, which pairs artists with endangered properties to explore the hidden and layered narratives to Providence's iconic and abandoned buildings.
Jed Hancock-Brainerd and Rebecca Noon, founding members of Strange Attractor, have produced a wide variety of performance pieces over the past ten years. Created with Rhode Island artists and community singers, She Died for Our Convenience explores the history of women working in the Olneyville textile mill by singing songs to unsung labor around the abandoned mill complex, while reminding us that we are all but tomorrow's ghosts.
"We love adding the technology of theater to non-theatrical spaces," says Noon. "It changes the way we see Rhode Island, and how we think about performance. The collision of Chrissy's luscious music and this complex of buildings that most people in Providence just drive by is like the history of women and labor in general. Myriad stories happened -- and are happening -- all around us, but most of us just drive by."
"Getting to research this mill while working towards a site-specific performance has been really revealing," says Hancock-Brainerd. "We hope that She Died for Our Convenience makes people think about the human cost of our industrial history as well as how manufacturing happens today. We hope people end up thinking about the legacy of the textile industry in Rhode Island, as well as who is making our clothing today."
She Died for Our Convenience is 7pm, May 4, 2019 at Earnscliffe/Paragon Mills, 25 & 39 Manton Ave in Providence, RI. FREE. Reservations are available at the door or in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sites-and-stories-explored-she-died-for-our-convenience-tickets-60166137537
She Died for Our Convenience Creative Team:
Directors: Jed Hancock-Brainerd & Rebecca Noon
Composer & Choral Director: Chrissy Wolpert
Choral Asst & Associate Artist: Clara Weishahn
Textile & Costume Designer: Priscilla Carrion
Sound & Light Consultant: Andy Russ
Fabrication & Space Consultant: Emily Shapiro
Historian: Evelyn Sterne
Developed as part of the Providence Preservation Society's Sites & Stories Explored initiative. Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.
Strange Attractor is a performance ensemble that moves between themes, genres, geographies, and aesthetics. From a quick-change comedy about war to a meditation on museum security guards, Strange Attractor creates in theaters, but also for houses, on beaches, and with community centers; for urban and rural audiences; for comedy and for ritual. Our physically-based performance style, the diverse universes we explore, and the characters we discover, unnerve while entertaining and confound while delighting. www.strangeattractor.org