Mother Jones in Heaven on stage with Vivian Nesbitt and John Dillon

Mother Jones in Heaven — a Musical by Si Kahn

Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm 

Mother Jones In Heaven is a musical by long time friend and benefactor of the Old Labor Hall Si Kahn. It will receive this Vermont premier performance as part of a nationwide tour. The story of Mother Jones forcefully reminds us how powerful one person can be in service to the betterment of others. The topic is as timely today as it was when Mother Jones was organizing the working class at the turn of the last century.

The production stars Vivian Nesbitt in this rousing musical about the infamous labor organizer who led the charge for better working conditions and fair pay for miners, mill workers and child laborers. Mother Jones was dubbed “The Most Dangerous Woman in America” because, said a West Virginia judge, “at the crook of her little finger, she could get 8000 men to walk out on strike.” Feared, revered and lauded in song and story, Mother Jones was “the grandmother of all agitators” during the late 19th and early 20th century as she spoke all over the country, from the Old Labor Hall to Congress, in support of ordinary working people.

The show opens as Mother Jones arrives in heaven to discover that Heaven is identical to her favorite Irish Pub. Over the course of the 75-minute performance Mother Jones looks back over her life, balancing the scales, sifting through her storied past. Moments of profound insight are woven with hilarious tales of a hellion in her prime. On the one hand, her methods and practices, on the other, her reputation and results.

 

Vivian Nesbitt is Mother Jones

Vivian Nesbitt (Breaking Bad, The Night Shift, Longmire, Law & Order: SVU, Off-Broadway and more) portrays Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, with musical accompaniment by John Dillon (Art of the Song Radio). Her one-woman, one act performance, has one foot in the folk tradition of storytelling and acoustic guitars, and the other in the true American art of musical theater.

Si Kahn

Author Si Kahn has worked for over fifty years as a professional civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician, touring and recording with such artists as Pete Seeger. The seven musicals for which he wrote the songs and/or script have had full productions at the Berkeley, Milwaukee and Tennessee Repertory Theatres; the Goodspeed Opera House’s Norma Terris Theatre; Piccolo Spoleto Fringe in Charleston, SC; Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, AK; Central Square Theatre in Cambridge, MA; the Warehouse Performing Arts Center in Cornelius, NC; the Subversive Theatre Collective in Buffalo, NY; and Main Stage West in Sebastopol, CA.

 Tickets: $25 ($20 students, union members, seniors) available at the door. The show runs for just over an hour with no intermission, followed by a Q & A session.

How this production came to be: 

Listening to her story is like getting a vaccination against cynicism about the future of democracy in the United States.

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