From the field: Bias Cut honors Los Angeles Garment workers

Last night I attended, Bias Tape a two person play about LA garment workers, http://www.highwaysperformance.org/.  The play was a historical, autobiographical narrative, about two garment workers in Los Angeles.  One a sweat shop worker, who’s dialog created a portrait of the history of garments workers in American; home work, sweat shops, unions, triangle fire.  The contrasting character was an immigrant, who passed up the LA sweatshop to do one of a kind garments for Charro.  A high light for me was being reminded of a Broadway play “Pins and Needle” all the actors were garment workers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pins_and_Needles.   There were some  disappointments: the sewing machine on stage wasn’t actually functioning, and the bias cut dress, was a cheep made in China, polyester, princess line, with no bias cut!  and the naive hand work in the video projection was a distraction from the professionalism of the characters being portrayed.  All in all the show was an interesting dialog between these two differing experiences in Los Angeles.

In conjunction with the show was an art exhibition, and the stand out project for the evening was “Care Instructions”  Leah, a Berkley resident is asking participants to swap out their labels for her alternative chair labels.  Here is the link to her site.  http://www.leafcutterdesigns.com/projects/changingclothes.html

Her site also has some great links, tracking garment labor politics.

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2 Responses to “From the field: Bias Cut honors Los Angeles Garment workers”

  1. laurel ollstein Says:

    Hello – I am the playwright of BIAS CUT and i appreciated your observations on our piece. This is a piece in progress – the first performance. And I agree about the dress not being bias cut and cheap! I know we should have found or had made one that was right. Budget is my only excuse. Also I understand what you say about the videos and the non working machine. I would like to work more on this piece. I feel that a play about this needs to be out there. So if you know of any venues that might be interested in our production as it grows please have them contact me. And i would love to talk to you further about it. thanks laurel ollstein.
    laurelollstein@gmail.com

  2. Daniel Says:

    Hey Fraufiber,

    Glad to see someone posting consistently about the problem of sweatshops in Los Angeles. I’m part of a grassroots alliance lobbying LA to pool resources with other cities to monitor the factories where city uniforms come from.

    Also, I work for a company that supports sweatfree, union factories to help create good alternatives for workers in sweatshops.

    If you’re interested in a guest post or featuring our company on your blog, let me know! Thanks.

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