Triangle Fire / Bread & Roses

In the fall of 2018, the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre presented A Bintl Brief, one of our most popular and produced plays.

One of the new elements we brought to this
Bintl 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 was the high point of the play - a moment so dramatic that it is indelibly etched on our minds to this day. This could not have been foreseen, yet became so due to the unique, remarkable phenomenon that is the DWYT.

Yes, we performed the medley - but in Yiddish. It didn’t exist in Yiddish. So... how? Why? What a question. Because that’s the DWYT! And when the decision was taken, it took no time at all for the
sui generis team of Aron Gonshor and Edit Kuper -  two lifelong, devoted members of the DWYT -  to deliver poetry equal to the iconic, original English lyrics.

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 our theatre company), 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.

Ben Gonshor,
The Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre Association

Note: The songs' original English lyrics and their French translations appear as supertitles in the video. 
To view the Yiddish lyrics and their direct translations into English and French, please click here. 

“Ballad of the Triangle Fire / Bread and Roses”
A Yiddish world premiere

Produced by Ben Gonshor
Inspired by an excerpt from The Golden Land – Created by Zalmen Mlotek and Moishe Rosenfeld

“Ballad of the Triangle Fire”
Lyrics and Music by Ruth Rubin
Translated into Yiddish by Aron Gonshor and Edit Kuper
“Mamenyu! Oder der troyer oyf di Trayengel fayer korbanot / Mameniu! Including an elegy to the Triangle Fire victims”
Yiddish lyrics by Anshel Schorr
Music by Joseph Rumshinsky

“Bread and Roses”
Written by James Oppenheim
Music by Margarita Mimi Baez Fariña
Translated into Yiddish by Aron Gonshor and Edit Kuper

Music Arrangements and Orchestration by Nick Burgess

Performed by members of the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre
Cast of A Bintel Brief, a Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre production, October 2018
(Chana Alper-Orenstein, Salomé Assor, Leah Benmergui, Cheryl Blum, Danielle Buch, Mark Buch, Shireen Cale, Maia Cooper, Mia Cooperman, Jonathan Eidelman, Kinneret Finegold, Rachel Kohl Finegold, Joel Fink, Eliane Goldstein, Jonathan Goldstein, Aron Gonshor, Bram Lackman-Mincoff, Jodi Lackman, Alice Myers, Betty Kis Marer, Catherine Marmen, Mikey Samra, Veronica Schnitzer, Sam Stein.)

“Protest against child labor in a labor parade” photograph from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Production photos of A Bintel Brief by Leslie Schachter
Presented at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Montreal, Canada, 2018

Video production by George Allister & Patrick Andrew Boivin