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Rivets At Kaiser Shipyards on Red Oak World Premiere

For Immediate Release

Press Contact:  Kathy McCarty  KathyGPET@aol.com,   925-899-2471 (private cell)








WHAT:           RIVETS 

                        A New Musical Based on

Rosie the Riveter & Richmond's Kaiser Shipyards

Produced by Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre







Rosie the Riveter & The “Homefront Soldiers” of WW2 are the subjects of The World Premiere Musical RIVETS by Kathryn G. McCarty (libretto) and Mitchell Covington (music), on the SS Red Oak Victory at the site of the historic Kaiser Richmond Shipyards.  


PRESS PHOTOS              http://rivets.homestead.com/

 (Please e-mail KathyGPET@aol.com for high resolution JPEGS)


WHERE:        Onboard the SS Red Oak Victory, 1337 Canal Blvd., Berth 6A, Richmond, CA 94804.      www.ssredoakvictory.com    


WHEN:           Thursdays-Sundays

                        October 9 – October 26, 2008

  Thursday, Friday Saturday    8 p.m.    Sundays   3 p.m.




TICKETS       Box Office   925-676-5705   galateanplayers.com

                        $20 General Admission    

                        Rosies, WW 2 Veterans and Uniformed Soldiers:  Free

 $2 discount with donation for Blue Star Mom’s Holiday Care Packages for Soldiers or canned food for the Contra Costa Food Bank.


PRIVATE INFO/                              Director: Clay David                       

INTERVIEWS                                    cuvid@earthlink.net  Cell:  510- 507-4751  (private)

(do not distribute)                              Playwright:  Kathryn G. McCarty

                                                            kathygpet@aol.com   Cell 925-899-2471 (private)




            “Homefront Soldiers,”  the family and loved ones 16 million American WW 2 Soldiers left behind while fighting overseas, are celebrated in RIVETS by Kathryn G. McCarty and Mitchell Covington, premiering October 9, 2008 on the SS Red Oak Victory at the site of the historic Kaiser Richmond Shipyards in the Rosie the Riveter National Park. 

The Kaiser Shipyards, the most famous and productive shipyards in the San Francisco Bay Area, serve as backdrop for RIVETS,  which will run on the historic site Thursdays-Sundays, October 9-26, 2008.  

The deck of the SS Red Oak Victory boasts views of both the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges and the Port of Oakland.  “We are grateful have a musical that celebrates the dedication of Americans during WW2 performed on the ship during FLEET WEEK,” said Lois Boyle, President of the Richmond Museum Organization, owners of the Red Oak.  

“The show’s characters are fictional,” McCarty explains, “but the story is based on a decade of historical research.   Henry J. Kaiser's Shipyards produced the ships that helped America win WW 2, and changed our country forever.” 

McCarty who penned the story, book and lyrics to RIVETS added that producing the show in the Kaiser Shipyard is an honor.  “Being in the site where history was created, and understanding the significance of the American contribution, of those who worked around the clock to bring home their fathers, husbands and brothers – it’s monumental for all involved.”

With most of the Country’s men at war, women entered the work force for the first time in history.  Women known as “Rosie the Riveter,” “Wendy the Welder” and “Dynamite Dorothy” were led by industrial geniuses like Henry J. Kaiser.  The Bay Area had the largest concentration of shipbuilding, reaching from the Golden Gate nearly a hundred miles east to Stockton, with 14 shipyards contained within the area. The Kaiser Shipyard in Richmond employed over 40% of the area’s 250,000 shipyard workers.  

The Red Oak Victory ship is the last surviving Victory ship built and launched in the Kaiser Richmond Shipyard.   

 “RIVETS is the story of the Rosie the Riveters, the women of World War II who  influenced generations that followed.  It is the story of the development of the Bay Area where the population swelled as people migrated to the East Bay in search of war production work,” said Director Clay David who has shepherded the show through two previous incarnations at Contra Costa College in San Pablo and the Lesher Arts Center in Walnut Creek.    David, explained new songs and revisions have been completed with each production, and the current script has an additional 6 songs.  “RIVETS has been quite a process, but to watch a musical like this develop  is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“In the year of our Presidential elections, with Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan  – many Americans fight to define what it is to be “Patriotic,” said McCarty.   “Certainly, those who lived in America in WW 2 had no difficulty with this.  Without unity, we wouldn’t have been able to respond to the Axis powers.   By studying our history, we can what we need to move forward, what qualities Americans need to gift to future generations.”

According to David, the production team is enthused about the opportunity to partner professional theatre with community service.  Among the community groups that RIVETS will help support are the Blue Star Moms, a service organization created during World War II.   Patrons will receive ticket discounts with donations for Holiday Care packages to the Blue Star Moms who have sons and daughters currently serving in branches of the Military all over the world.

   In addition, all WW2 Military Veterans and “Rosie the Riveters,” and uniformed soldiers will receive complimentary admission to the show.

 “The 1940’s were the beginning of monumental transformations between both sexes and races” said McCarty, citing President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802 as an example.  “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 people changed the world."

“Before that, Blacks and Whites were assigned separate drinking fountains.  Interracial relationships were a felony -- there was no such thing as interracial marriages.” added David, acknowledging parallels between those laws and present day legislation to ban same sex marriages.

 “This is the story of my father’s generation,” explained McCarty.  “It’s a time when minimum wage was 30¢ cents an hour and gas cost 19¢ a gallon.”  McCarty grew up as an “Air Force Brat,” her father a 20 year veteran of the United States Air Force and both Korea and Vietnam. 

            While RIVETS is based on fictional characters, McCarty spent 10 years researching the development of the Bay Area during the 1940’s.    “I've blended historical information with fictitious story lines and characters,” explains McCarty, who says RIVETS explores many aspects of the 1940’s America, including American Industrialization, War Propaganda, Rationing and Changing Roles between the Sexes and the Races.  

     “In my studies, I repeatedly encountered stories of ordinary men and women, mostly 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.”

McCarty acknowledged difficulty in interviewing relatives who lived through the war.  “When I first interviewed my Aunt , she didn’t want to talk about WW 2.  She was a young woman at the time, and all the men were leaving – some never to return.  At first, she told me she couldn’t remember anyone in our family who served in the War.  Then, one day she called and said we’d had 22 relatives fight, and one cousin who did not make it home.” That cousin was one of 400,000 who died in WW2.

Through her dialogue with the elder generation, McCarty said she discovered many family philosophies that she has grown up with originated during WW 2 America.   “Every time I go to throw something away, I hear a little voice from my childhood echo ‘Waste Not Want Not.’   I discovered a famous government poster with that phrase, now  I understood the origin of the ideology I heard throughout my entire childhood.” 

            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.”   RIVETS met rave reviews from critics and audiences in an earlier production this year at Contra Costa College.   It has been nominated for the 2008 Shellie Award for "Best Musical," and several of its actors and directors have also received nods for their achievements.

 “We have been very pleased with the response from the earlier productions,” David said, adding that while enjoying the response from critics.  McCarty added that  “The most heartfelt review came from an original Rosie who told us that she felt that she’d been ‘transported back in time.’  You can’t ask for more.”

            RIVETS previews October 4 in conjunction with the Richmond Museum Association as part of the 2008 Rosie the Riveter Home Front Festival by the Bay.  

For tickets to the performance  call (925) 676-5705 or visit Galateanplayers.com    Performances are Thursday-Saturdays,Oct. 9-26, Thursday, Friday, Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays.   Before the Sunday performances, the Ship is open to visitors on Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., donations requested.

Please note that access to the ship requires walking up a steep ramp and the ability to climb stairs.

                                                Press Release – Thirty – More information to follow




 Tours of the SS Red Oak Victory are available before all Sunday performances.  Visiting hours are 10 AM - 3 PM.     $5 donation requested.
Note access to the ship requires walking up a steep ramp and the ability to climb stairs


Sunday, October 12     Fleet Week, Pancake  Breakfast   9 a.m. –  1:30 p.m. Served on the deck of the Red Oak, with views of the Golden Gate & San Francisco Bay Bridges.    $6.

Launched November 9, 1944 as the SS Red Oak Victory, then commissioned as the USS Red Oak Victory (AK235) in December, 1944, the Red Oak Victory is the only vessel built by the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California that is being restored.   It is number 558 of the 747 ships built in the Yard.

The ship served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  In 1996, by an Act of Congress, title to the SS Red Oak Victory was conveyed to the Richmond Museum Association.

The SS Red Oak Victory, built in Yard 1,  was named after the town of Red Oak, Iowa, which suffered the highest per capita casualty rate of any American town during World War II.  


The USS Red Oak Victory (AK-235) served as a Navy ammunition carrier.  In her maiden voyage she hauled over 10,000 tons of ammunition from the Port Chicago Ammunition Depot to the South Pacific.




RIVETS has received a 2007-08 Shellie nomination for “Outstanding Musical Production.”  Also receiving nomination nods are director Clay David; Shawn Creighton (Best Actress, Musical), Randall Nott (Best Actor, Musical), Katrina Krasser (Best Supporting Actress, Musical) and Matt Davis (Best Supporting Actor, Musical)


RIVETS IS funded in part through Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections program.  COMPOSER MITCHELL COVINGTON was honored with a grant from the organization.