Triangle Fire / Bread & Roses

In the fall of 2018, the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (DWYT) in Montreal presented A Bintl Brief, one of its most popular and produced plays. 

One of the new elements brought to the production was the incorporation of music and song that weaved throughout the play. Most notable was the medley of two iconic English songs: “The Ballad of the Triangle Fire” and “Bread & Roses.” These songs commemorate the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which claimed the lives of 146 young women in March 1911, while highlighting the pioneering role that women, in particular, played in fostering political, social, labour and economic reform in its aftermath.

The medley – performed for the first time ever in Yiddish –  was the high point of the play; a moment so dramatic that it is indelibly etched the minds of those who experienced it. Not everyone got to see Bintl and experience that powerful moment. Now they can.

In commemoration of those who perished and in homage to pioneering women (including the namesake of the DWYT), I have the distinct honour of presenting to you the Yiddish language world premiere video of the “Triangle Fire & Bread and Roses” medley, as performed by the DWYT.

Photo credit: “Protest against child labor in a labor parade”, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Production photos of A Bintl Brief by Leslie Schachter