Pioneers Go East Collective presents a brand-new docudrama with music about the textile workers’ protest movement in the early 20th-century American South. More…
Set during the 1929 strike at the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina, 'American Mill No. 2' centers on Ella May Wiggins, a real-life textile worker, union organizer, and folk singer who was at the forefront of the protest movement. 'American Mill No. 2' includes a video component inspired by historical photography to recreate the experience of the mill workers and their families, and a live performance with protest songs.
"It's when the cast sings that 'American Mill' truly comes alive...The genius composition and the chemistry between the performers are the absolute highlights...The ensemble-devised script would benefit from some reconstruction in order to make this story more effective. It's a production with a big heart and lots of impressive ingredients. And if its structure and coherence are flawed, it seems that the company's goal is for us to...draw strength from the past." Full Review
"They home in on the role of women in the labor movement. It’s a noble goal, but the loose multimedia format of the show succeeds more in potent moments than in the overall power...The show successfully draws parallels to still relevant issues...The strongest element of the piece is the sometimes reviving and sometimes forlorn folk music...But the stylistic jolts and shifting story beats need smoothing...The balance between documentary and live docudrama can feel off-kilter." Full Review
"The score is by turns joyous and heartbreaking. When Sankaram sings as Wiggins at the beginning of the show, she is captivating. In stark contrast to the rabble-rousing musicality of the Southern mill workers, the players recount historical anecdotes seated around a table...These interludes feel at odds with the stomping solidarity of the music. The intermittent use of video recording, another docudrama favorite, drew this writer further from the world of the mill workers." Full Review
See it if like stimulating your mind and senses with original singing, staging and media . The show gives you a "wow" mind blow when it is ends.
Don't see it if dislike intense shows that have a strong point of view presented ingeniously
See it if you like devised theater, minimalism, folk-americana music, diversely talented actors and resonant stories.
Don't see it if you're not interested in history or educational theater.
See it if Ur interested in learning about labour unions and the mills-specificaly in the 1920s deep South. Follows 1 woman's story who was leader/song
Don't see it if Writer. You want the usual play. This combines songs with history and short scenes-but you truly care about these people and their plight.
See it if Appreciate good lighting design and interesting ways to involve the audience. The story was fascinating and very informative and educational
Don't see it if You get intimidated by actors speaking to you directly
See it if you are interested in a musical that is not fluff and draws from a powerful true story
Don't see it if "musical" equals "high production value" for you. Also, if you get easily tired of the Southern accent.
See it if you like small-scale, up-close-and-personal theatre, presented passionately
Don't see it if you only like Broadway-style shows, with elaborate sets and costumes, or if you don't like shows that deal with historical/political issues
See it if You're interested in non-traditional multi-media performance; are interested in the labor movement of the 1920s; you like political pieces
Don't see it if You want a traditional play presented traditionally; you don't like plays with music; you don't want to be disturbed by a true story
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