May 13 - June 4, 2011
Written by Naomi Wallace
Directed by Kaiser Ahmed
Featuring: Kristin Anderson, Warren Feagins, Ryan Heindl, Jack McCabe, John Milewski, Anne Sears, Katherine Swan, and Aj Ware
Slaughter City is inspired by the brutal, centuries-long struggle for workers’ rights in America. As we witness the events in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest, and approach the 100-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in which 146 workers died because the bosses had locked the doors from the outside- the time could not be riper for Wallace’s poetic tale of tumult in the meatpacking labor union of Slaughter City, USA. While the odd and sinister Mr. Baquin lords over the plant from his pristine office high above, the workers on the kill-floor find it impossible to muscle out of the muck that earns them their meager paycheck. Inequalities between men and women, black and white, are coming to a head when two mysterious strangers arrive – one urging management to push the workers harder, the other joining with the union and inciting them to strike. The workers struggle with whether to obey the oppressive company that signs their checks, or their own animal instincts for freedom and for each other.
"An affecting production... Kaiser Ahmed's staging creates a nightmarish twilight world for Wallace's piece."
Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune
"The production is handsomely staged by Ahmed... drawing a direct line between this future-dystopian slaughterhouse and the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, whose tragic place in labor history is invoked late in the play."
Time Out Chicago
"This disciplined, persuasive production nobly delves into tough subjects... Kaiser Ahmed’s painstaking (and pains-giving) staging delivers memorable performances... Jackalope’s commanding dedication to a difficult story and subject deserves accolades."
Chicago Theatre Beat