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2018 - 2019 Season

Triangle Factory Fire Project Poster

The Triangle Factory Fire Project 

by Christopher Piehler in collaboration with Scott Alan Evans

Saturday, March 25, 1911. 4:45 P.M. In the Triangle Waist Factory off downtown Manhattan's Washington Square—where 500 immigrant workers from Poland, Russia and Italy toil fourteen-hour days making lady's dresses—a cigarette is tossed into a bin of fabric scraps. Despite desperate efforts, flames sweep through the eighth, ninth and tenth floors. Panic-stricken workers run in all directions. In the space of twenty-eight minutes, the fire is under control, but 146 people, mainly young immigrant girls, have died. THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT uses eyewitness accounts, court transcripts and other archival material to create a dramatic moment-by-moment account of this historic fire and the social upheaval that followed. It culminates in the manslaughter trial of the owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, whose shocking acquittal inspires new outrage across New York and the entire country, the repercussions of which shaped social, political and economic policies for decades to come. By using real words spoken by real people, from Ukrainian seamstresses to millionaire Fifth Avenue socialites, THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE PROJECT paints a heartbreakingly clear picture of a disastrous day in American history and explores the human toll such a tragedy takes on us all.

October 5-7, 18-20
Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage

"A good play is a wonderful distraction. A great play tugs at your emotional core. A truly great play does all that and also affects it audience by triggering memories and influencing one's view of events. THE TRIANGLE FACTORY FIRE is one of the plays that falls into the last category."


Prelude to a Kiss PosterPrelude to a Kiss 

by Craig Lucas

At Peter and Rita's wedding, a mysterious old man insists on kissing the bride. While honeymooning, Peter gradually realizes that the woman by his side is not his wife. The wedding kiss caused Rita's soul and the old man's to change places. Peter must track down the old man and free his young love's spirit trapped in an aging and diseased body, before it's too late.

November 30, December 1-2, 6-8 
Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage



"Like many a fairy tale, this isn't a 'what you see is what you get' happy-ending story…PRELUDE TO A KISS is Lucas at his lightest and brightest. A rare combination of laughter, romance and throat-tightening substance."


Festival of Ten XI PosterThe Festival of Ten XI

Every two years, we open up our virtual mailboxes in a call for fresh, new, inventive scripts from playwrights both established and up-and-coming for submissions to our next Festival of Ten. The department then reads and screens hundreds of submissions to find the ten best, which are then produced together as an evening of eclectic theatre. This is always an audience favorite, featuring works that highlight the subjects that inspire and drive today's playwrights. Come join us for an evening of variety like no other.

March 1-3, 7-9
Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage Theatre 



"The Festival of Ten is like the weather in Rochester. If you aren't enjoying the play that you are seeing, wait ten minutes and it will change."

—P. Gibson Ralph, Department Chair


Intimate Apparel PosterIntimate Apparel 

by Lynn Nottage

The time is 1905, the place New York City, where Esther, a black seamstress, lives in a boarding house for women and sews intimate apparel for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. Her skills and discretion are much in demand, and she has managed to stuff a goodly sum of money into her quilt over the years. One by one, the other denizens of the boarding house marry and move away, but Esther remains, lonely and longing for a husband and a future. Her plan is to find the right man and use the money she's saved to open a beauty parlor where black women will be treated as royally as the white women she sews for. By way of a mutual acquaintance, she begins to receive beautiful letters from a lonesome Caribbean man named George who is working on the Panama Canal. Being illiterate, Esther has one of her patrons respond to the letters, and over time the correspondence becomes increasingly intimate until George persuades her that they should marry, sight unseen. Meanwhile, Esther's heart seems to lie with the Hasidic shopkeeper from whom she buys cloth, and his heart with her, but the impossibility of the match is obvious to them both, and Esther consents to marry George. When George arrives in New York, however, he turns out not to be the man his letters painted him to be, and he absconds with Esther's savings, frittering it away on whores and liquor. Deeply wounded by the betrayal, but somehow unbroken, Esther returns to the boarding house determined to use her gifted hands and her sewing machine to refashion her dreams and make them anew from the whole cloth of her life's experiences.

April 26-28, May 2-4
Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage 

"…thoughtful, affecting…The play offers poignant commentary on an era when the cut and color of one's dress—and of course, skin—determined whom one could and could not marry, sleep with, even talk to in public."


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Box Office: (585) 395-ARTS

Regular admission: $17
Senior citizens, alumni, faculty, staff: $12
Students: $9

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Last Updated 3/6/19

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