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is inspired by the experiences of Chinese immigrants who, in the late 1870s, were recruited as strikebreakers by a factory owner in North Adams, MA during a strike by local union workers, Calvin T. Sampson transported Chinese laborers from San Francisco to North Adams to work in his shoe factory. The Chinese laborers learned shoe bottoming skills on the spot, and worked for three years at half the wages of white laborers. For the sake of their own safety, the Asian workers were sequestered within the factory grounds, where they lived on hope for a better life and memories of their homeland and families.
was supported in part by Williams College in Williamstown, MA, which sponsored the research and initial creation of the piece on-site 1993. The music was created by Zhou Long in collaboration with H.T. Chen; the composer and choreographer commission fees for this collaboration were made possible by a grant from the Meet The Composer’s Composer/ Choreographer project.
Factory Owner: Timothy Willmot
Local Workers: Kori Darling, Jo Rosa Rio, Despina Stamos, Roxanna Young, Elodie Andrews, Carrie Elmore, Karen Kilbane, Judith Mikita, Ron Houck
Strike-breakers: Hikari Baba, H.T. Chen, Dian Dong, Maura Nguyen Donohue, Renouard Gee, Naoko Katakami, San San Kwan, Marc Morozumi
Costumes: Cynthia Dumont
Lighting: David Lander
Set Design: Eric Harriz
Photo: Carol Rossegg