Paterson Falls by Rosemary McLaughlin

Drew University, Department of Theatre, Madison, NJ, November 2013
Mabel Dodge learns of the strike.

Mabel Dodge learns of the strike.

In Fally 2013, I directed the premiere of Rosemary McLaughlin’s Paterson Falls within the Department of Theatre at Drew University in Madison, NJ.

Paterson Falls chronicles and celebrates the ‘fragile bridge’ (to borrow a phrase from Steve Golin) that was built in 1913 between striking silk workers in Paterson, NJ and artists, intellectuals and Village Bohemians in New York City as they worked together to get word out about the strike. Because the newspaper publishers were on friendly terms with the mill owners, there was nothing in the papers except for propaganda that served to divide and misinform. When Mabel Dodge and John Reed partnered with IWW leaders such as Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, the idea of the Paterson Pageant began to form.

The director pausing to think.

The director pausing to think.

In June 1913, more than 1,000 of the strikers, under Reed’s direction, and with support from Robert Edmond Jones and John Sloan, took to the stage at Madison Square Garden to tell their story.

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