Theater for the New City
Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director
Birds on Fire
(The 1911 Triangle Factory Tragedy)
Written and Directed by Barbara Kahn
Music by Allison Tartalia
Puppet Design/Assistant Direction by Candice Burridge
Musical Direction and Choreography by Robert Gonzales, Jr.
Set and Lighting Design by Mark Marcante
Costume Design by Alice J. Garland
Sound Design by Joy Linscheid
Graphics Design by Virginia Asman
Stage Manager Bill Bradford
Photos and Video by Joe Bly
Featuring: Zoe Anastassiou, Robert Gonzales, Jr., Gusta Johnson, Tommy Kearney, Benjamin Pike, Anna Podolak, Sarah Shankman, Allison Tartalia, Noelle Tate, Brian F. Waite, Amanda Yachechak.
TNC is a member of: Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition
Historical Background of the Play
By Barbara Kahn
Birds on Fire tells what might have been the lives of the four unknown victims of the Triangle Factory Fire. Two women, childhood friends from Eastern Europe in America for five years, have dreams of a better life beyond the factory. They help a recent arrival from Eastern Europe who tries hard to adjust to her new and difficult life in America. The young Italian seaman who helped her on the dock jumps ship to find this woman he loved “at first sight.” The lives of these four converge in the Triangle Factory. They work hard, play hard during their precious hours of relaxation and share their hopes, dreams and love. The tragic fire that is the climax of the play steals from them their future as well as their past.
Birds on Fire is a fictional account of a historical event. As the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, who has attempted to do genealogical research, and as the writer of many historical plays, I have learned that facts can be elusive, even when presented in “official” documents or in the description of events by those who lived or witnessed them and later in oral and written history. Names, dates and other vital information can be in conflict from source to source. Facts and truth often compete for attention and acceptance. Birds on Fire is my effort to capture the truth of the tragedy of March 25, 1911 and to honor those who perished.
Partial funding by The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation of Palm Springs, CA.