Saturday, May 30 at 7:30 pm
Jimmy Higgins, A Life in the Labor Movement
The Old Labor Hall is delighted to host this one-man show. Jimmy Higgins celebrates the radical activist politics of the first half of the 20th century, the heyday of the Old Labor Hall. The play is written and performed by Harlan Baker.
Baker’s work weaves the fictional reporter and labor activist Jimmy Higgins (the name, Baker says, has long been a sort of “Everyman” moniker for the rank-and-file labor activist) through the major moments in radical and labor politics during the early 20th century.
Higgins tells of his encounters with Eugene Debs and others opposed to American involvement in the first World War, with the 1924 presidential campaign of the Progressive Party’s Robert LaFollette (who went on to win 17 percent of the popular vote, unprecedented for a third-party candidate), and with covering the 1930s union-organizing drives of tenant farmers and auto workers.
We hear of his experiences on the eve of the 1960 election, as Higgins, now an aged man, narrates his life to a college newspaper reporter. Intertwined with his political formation is the story of Higgins’s personal development, from selling his dad’s lefty newspaper as a boy, to meeting his future wife in the movement. Baker’s play deftly weds the personal and political, and history looks like what it is — the gathered threads of human lives.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 479–5600 or (802) 331-0013.