BERTHA, THE GIRL WITH THE SEWING MACHINE, part two arrives at the Metropolitan Playhouse
Obie Award-winning Metropolitan Playhouse presents a new free “featured” reading, streamed live for free, with its revolutionary and signature visual magic, and a debate to follow: BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL – Part 2, by Charles Foster, Streaming From April 24/2021 at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) to April 28/2021 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). Tickets available at: www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/watchbertha
The video will be available on the Metropolitan Playhouse’s YouTube channel and on the Metropolitan Playhouse’s Facebook page. The first part of the play runs from April 17 to April 21, 2021 The surprising conclusion to Bertha Bascomb’s setbacks. A model of virtue and integrity, she works hard as a sewing machine operator, but accused of theft by an envious colleague in Part 1, she spends five years in prison. Upon her release, with bleak prospects, she is subjected to the advances of a lascivious employer, while still being assaulted by a malicious villain whose motives remain obscure. Her only salvation may be a drunken waster whose life she must change if she hopes to get out of the sweatshop, stay out of prison and marriage. Leave BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL.
Emerging from the tearful pages of “New York Weekly” onto the Bowery Theater stage in 1871, BERTHA, THE SEWING MACHINE GIRL was a social cause that came to life, and it flourished during the last three decades of the 19th century. She was brought to life in a new version in 1906 and 1939 thanks to the powerful International Union of Women’s Garment Workers on their work scene under the name “Pins and Needles”.
The popularity of the play attests to the enduring appeal of sincere but broad interpretations of human conflict and aspirations, as well as of the essential truths at the heart of the play: the righteous are tormented by the selfish, the lucky by the resentful, the helpless. by the powerful, and chance plays a far more important role in our daily lives than we would like. In this time of serious inquiry into social inequality, this haughty melodrama speaks more clearly and sincerely than it has in years.
Reading Metropolitan embraces the promise of two-dimensional drama with all the glories of the two-dimensional “staging” that society has magically embraced during the pandemic.
A discussion including audience participation follows the reading with
Michelle Granshaw, PhD, Associate Professor of Theatrical Arts and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and Richardo Rocha, Lecturer in Theater, Film and Digital Production at the 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.