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"Rivets" Rosie the Riveter Musical at Local Theater

RIVETS, A New Musical Based on Rosie the Riveter & Richmond's Kaiser Shipyards

books and lyrics by Kathryn G. McCarty  musical score by Mitchell Covington, directed by Clay David

WHERE:  John and Jean Knox Center for Performing Arts, Contra Costa College Campus in San Pablo, February 28 & 29, March 1 at 8 pm and  Sunday March 2 at 3 pm

 TICKETS :  Box Office 510-235-7800 X4274

Two generations ago, minimum wage was 30¢ cents an hour, gas cost 19¢ a gallon and a new home in Walnut Creek could be purchased for under $4,000.

Hard to believe for many Bay Area residents, says director Clay David who is staging RIVETS, a new musical set in the Richmond Shipyards during WW II.   RIVETS, with book and lyrics by Kathryn G. McCarty and a musical score by Mitchell Covington, will run for a limited engagement Thursday Feb. 28 – Sunday Mar. 2 at the college.

 “The 1940’s were the time of Rosie the Riveter – the beginning of monumental transformations between both sexes and races” said David, citing changes brought about by President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802. “At that time in our history, Blacks and Whites were assigned separate drinking fountains and interracial relationships were a felony.  As a result of pressure from the African American Porter’s Union, President Roosevelt banned discrimination in War Production industries and Government because of race, creed, color, or national origin.  These men changed the world."

With most of the Country’s men at war, women entered the work force for the first time in history.

“This is the story of our parents, our grandparents,” said McCarty, who spent over 4 years researching the development of the Bay Area during this period.  “What I repeatedly ran into were stories of ordinary men and women, most of them unskilled and uneducated, doing extraordinary work which changed our entire history.  Had the United States not stood together for one goal, we certainly would have lost WW 2.”

From 1941- 1945 over 500,000 people migrated to the Bay Area to find work in the Defense Boom.   They found jobs in the Shipyards and Defense Industries throughout the Bay Area.   The Kaiser Shipyards serve as backdrop for RIVETS.

“This is the story of the Home Front soldiers, the men and women of World War II,” said David.    “These Rosie the Riveters influenced the development of the entire Bay Area;  over 120,000 people migrated to the Richmond area in search of war production work.”

“I've mixed historical information in with fictitious story lines and characters,” explains McCarty, who says RIVETS explores changing roles of both White and African American men and women. 

 RIVETS, the third work by McCarty that David has directed, is the first new work she’s had produced since last Fall’s publication of her book “Defining Form & Other Plays.”

After the CCC production of RIVETS, the musical will continue in its development.   In the Fall, the show will be performed in conjunction with the Richmond Museum Association on the SS Red Oak as part of the 2008 Rosie the Riveter Home Front Festival by the Bay.

 Following those shows, RIVETS will be produced by Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre Thursday-Sundays, October 9-26, 2008 on the SS Red Oak.    The SS Red Oak, a Victory ship built and launched in the Kaiser Richmond Shipyard, was built by the Rosie the Riveters of WW 2.  

 RIVETS is being presented at the John and Jean Knox Center for the Performing Arts on the Contra Costa College Campus, Thursday – Saturday, February 28, 29 & March 1 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m.    For tickets or more information please contact the Drama Department at 510-235-7800 X4274.  Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students.  Tickets are also available on the CCC Drama Web page at http://cccdrama.homestead.com