Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Revisiting May Day & the First Red Scare

Concerned about fair pay, civil liberties, economic inequality and the 1 percent? Consider a drama... Inquisitions (and Other Un-American Activities), a play dramatizing the struggle for workers rights. Here is a audio (video) clip of the infamous Haymarket bombing of 1886, a key moment in the history of the labor movement, excerpted from the radio play.

Audio recorded at a live performance in Burlington, Vermont.

Dissent and Its Enemies

Inquisitions (and Other Un-American Activities) uses the interrogation of activist Lucy Parsons during the 1919 Palmer raids as a framework. Available for radio, the production -- with a 20-person cast, drama, comedy, and historical recreations -- explores timely themes through dramatic recreations of the movement for an eight-hour workday, the Haymarket bombing, and show trial of four activists. It is based on more than a decade of research, and includes characters like radical organizer Albert Parsons, tycoons like Marshall Field and John D. Rockefeller, muckraker Henry Demarest Lloyd and J. Edgar Hoover at the start of his FBI career.

Since 2004, Inquisitions... has aired on dozens of stations across the country. The complete running time is two-hours, divided into 12 chapters, and can be abridged, aired in installments, or restaged. The original production was written by Greg Guma, directed by Bill Boardman, and co-produced by Toward Freedom and Catalyst Theatre Company

Click here to listen to an audio excerpt in RealAudio (7 min.)
Click here to listen to an audio excerpt in MP3 (7 min.)

Inquisitions... is available as a freedownload for noncommercial radio stations. Contact Squeaky Wheel Productions to register  and download at: or call (203) 268-8446. Print copies of the script: $25; email

Labor’s March

Unions are often portrayed as just another corrupt special interest group. But the true, largely ignored history of the labor movement tells a very different story: a long and dedicated effort, despite ruthless opposition, to shorten working hours, obtain a living wage, and win reforms like Social Security. Here is a six part series that puts labor’s historic struggles and contemporary challenges into context.

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