Bread & Roses Missouri works with youth between the ages of seven and eighteen, providing after-school and summer programs that focus on the themes of home, family, work, and community by encouraging artistic expression and creativity that explores and deepens understandings of these topics.
“Then and Now Again” –A Workers’ Opera
Saint Louis has a rich, mostly unexplored, labor history. And there is history in the making again today as Show Me $15 gains increasing momentum with fast food workers, home health care workers, childcare workers, university adjuncts organize with NEA and SEIU; banking call center workers beginning to organize under the CWA banner; Laborers #110 actively commit to organizing lawn care workers; all of this in the face of the push in Missouri for so-called right to work legislation both in the private and public sectors.
After Ferguson, it became increasingly clear that workers engaged in these organizing efforts understood very clearly the connection between workers’ rights and civil rights in this post-industrial society that is growing up around us. And it became clear to Bread & Roses that it was time to produce a theater piece, a ‘workers’ opera,’ that would connect the “then” with the “now.”
Under the direction of Colin McLaughlin and written by the late Agnes Wilcox and Freeman Word, eight workers-turned-actors trained for several months to create a series of sketches that connected St. Louis workers’ stories of struggle, past and present. This “workers’ opera” debuted in 2016 at the First Unitarian Church. Now it’s back with more stories of St. Louis workers in word and song.
The *one* performance is at 1pm, on Sunday January 28th. The show is FREE and open to the public.
“Right To Work Exposed” — (from the cast of A Workers’ Opera)
Politicians are trying to rollback our progress agenda and even preempt communities from improving conditions for working people. In a galling move this past July, Missouri state legislators repealed the new $10 minimum wage in St. Louis, taking away raises for more than 40,000. These elected officials are being egged on by massive corporations that want to protect their profits.
Extremists and lobbyists doing the bidding of billionaires enacted harmful right-to-work laws in Kentucky and Missouri this year. They’re readying to push these policies on a national scale in Congress and other states across the country. Their plan is to drive down wages and undermine our collective ability to join in union.
This show, brought to you by the creative team and cast of the Workers Opera, is a response to the above described culminating events. The show details the racist, harmful, and largely hidden history of Right To Work, and speaks against the drastic affects it has on workers and their families.
The cast includes Sonja Gholston Byrd, Georgia Brown Moore, Michael J. Paplanus, Rachel Sacks, and featuring Shannon Duffy as “Vance Muse.” The piece was directed by Agnes Wilcox and Freeman Word.
The show will be presented Monday, September 4th, at the Pre-Labor Day Parade Rally at 19th & Olive 8:00 -8:45 am. It is free and open to the public.
Join Bread and Roses in this self-exploratory workshop. During each workshop, the history and significance of the Mandela will be discussed, followed by participants creating their own individualized Mandala. This is a very tranquil, mindful experience that allows crativity to flow freely. The workshop can be designed for smaller groups (Less then 10) as well as larger groups (up to 25).
2 hour Mandala workshop with ending reflection- $500
1 hour Mandala workshop as an art activity- $250
For Kids 45 minute Mandala art activity- $150