The Adelphi University Community Collaborates on Social Theatre Piece: The Triangle Fire Project Opens on April 7, 2011

An innovative ensemble of twelve has created a devised piece of theatre that commemorates the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911.

Garden City, NY, April 06, 2011 --( In accordance with the 100th anniversary of the tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911, The Triangle Fire Project, a multimedia theatrical collaboration examines the rippling impact of this historical event on the labor and immigration reforms that followed. The collaborative efforts of faculty and students from the Departments of Communication, Education, English, History, Library Science, Sociology, and Theatre have converged to create this original piece of social theatre. The Triangle Fire Project opens Thursday, April 7 and has a modified run through April 17 in the Black Box Theatre of Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center, 1 South Ave., Garden City, NY.

The innovative cast of 12 utilizes music, sound, projections, and text, to explore the controversial issues surrounding laborers: international, domestic, past, and present. Associate Professor Margaret (Maggie) Lally is directing with scenic design by Assistant Professor Sarah Martin.

The idea for this project began about a year ago when Associate Professors Robert Linne and Maggie Lally shared a conversation and he asked if Professor Lally would be interested in developing something for the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. As a member of The Collaboration Project, a collective of faculty, staff, administrators, and students who create awareness of social justice issues, Lally offered to initiate the development of a devised theatrical piece with contributions from members of the Adelphi community. Linne and Associate Professor Deborah Little offered transcripts of interviews their students did with family members of survivors or the deceased, in addition to interviews with current labor reformers from Long Island. Visiting Assistant Professor, Orion Duckstein of the Dance Department did movement work with the ensemble to get the actors more comfortable with using physicality to create moments for the piece.

Both Professors Maggie Lally and Sarah Martin are passionate about the creation of theatre for social change and saw this event as an opportunity to share a new kind of creative process with a group of actors and designers. Lally and Martin previously collaborated on Street Scene and Topdog/Underdog and are working on this project as partners mentoring an ensemble of student actors and designers in the creation of a new work. Since January, Lally and Martin have researched current labor issues and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in order to use the story as a springboard to discuss current labor issues. As a result of additional research done by the ensemble, they found that many of the 146 workers who died were mostly women their age or younger, including Clara Lemlich, one of the many labor activists of that time. Maggie Lally stated, “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing young artists use their talents to make a difference in the world around them. Their passion for the material and creativity in telling the story [is something] that is not to be missed.” The ensemble has performed moments from the play for the Adelphi and HBO premieres of a new documentary, Triangle: Remembering the Fire and they recently performed a piece as part of the official festivities commemorating the Centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire at the Great Hall at Cooper Union on March 25, 2011.

Individual tickets for this event are on sale now and will be available at the door for $15 or $10 depending on seating. Discounts are available for students and seniors citizens. To learn more about AU PAC’s 2010-2011 season, please visit or call the AU PAC Box Office at (516) 877-4000.

About Adelphi University: Adelphi is a world class, modern university with excellent and highly relevant programs where students prepare for lives of active citizenship and professional careers. Through its schools and programs—The College of Arts and Sciences, Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Honors College, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, University College, and the Schools of Business, Nursing, and Social Work—the co-educational university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional and educational programs for adults. Adelphi University currently enrolls nearly 8,000 students from 41 states and 60 foreign countries. With its main campus in Garden City and centers in Manhattan, Hauppauge, and Poughkeepsie, the University chartered in 1896, maintains a commitment to liberal studies in tandem with rigorous professional preparation and active citizenship.

Adelphi University
Kali Chan
(516) 877-4040