Injunction Granted OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Johanna Wilson
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 29, 2015
    Closing:
    June 28, 2015

    Theater: Metropolitan Playhouse / 220 East Fourth Street, New York, NY, 10009

    Synopsis: 

    It's labor vs. capital in this circus-like living newspaper from the Federal Theater Project. The third in Metropolitan's jubilant celebration of these social dramas created by the WPA, in the spirit of Power and One Third of a Nation, this time with acrobats, music and clowns! (Plus a special coda written just for the Metropolitan production, bringing the play into the next century.)

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Injunction Granted

    Metropolitan Playhouse Tackles Labor History in ‘Injunction Granted’

    Alexis Soloski

    June 5, 2015: This year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York recommended raising New York City’s minimum wage to $11.50, with a minimum of $10.50 elsewhere in the state. Lawmakers rejected the proposal, which is not really a surprise if you know the history that inspired “Injunction Granted.” A 1936 play created by the Living Newspaper Unit of the W.P.A.’s Federal Theater Project, it has been given a devoted if rickety revival by the Metropolitan Playhouse. A history of labor unions and of the collusion among plutocrats, politicos and the judiciary to curtail workers’ freedoms and rights, the play was something of a scandal in its day. Hallie Flanagan, the leader of the Federal Theater Project, called it “bad journalism and hysterical theater.” She had already received criticism for the perceived politics of her group, and the uncompromisingly leftist slant of the play (to say nothing of the Communist Party literature for sale in the lobby) put her in a difficult position. She shuttered “Injunction Granted” early. In 28 very short scenes — the first set in 17th-century England, the last in 1936 America — the drama details the antagonism between labor and capital in bursts that are sometimes satiric and sometimes deadly earnest, particularly when a Samuel Gompers or a Eugene V. Debs or a John L. Lewis speaks. All the fairness and goodness are on labor’s side. The judges and the capitalists, not so much (though occasionally you get a somewhat sympathetic politician).

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