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.