Triangular dimension takes center stage inside the Black Box Theatre

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Marissa Martin

The streets of Manhattan lit up with horror as hundreds of immigrant women jumped to their death while the building they jumped from was consumed by flames.

The Triangle Factory Fire Project tells a tragic story of a real event that happened 101 years ago because of unsafe working environments and disregard for workers safety.

“They said the building was fire proof just not death proof,” Zoe Campbell, senior theatre and Spanish major and set designer, said.

The theatre’s seating arrangement changed to fit an edgy metal structure that imitates the setting for Triangle Factory Fire Project, where hundreds of women die in the metal contraption.  Campbell designed and built the frame to accommodate the setting.

The fire scene lights up with illusions that there are real flames on stage by lighting techniques, James Harbour, director for the production, said.

“I designed it with triangular objects to give it its sharp edges and structural feel,” Campbell said. “It is made fully of metal and was designed around the setting where the fire took place on the eighth, ninth and tenth floors.”

The metal structure designed by Campbell includes the two doors and a fire escape that is true to life to the event but the women inside only had one escape route, Campbell said.

“This is a real life incident that has been distanced from people’s consciousness, and a documentary on PBS brought the topic back into popularity,” Harbour said.

This production tells a story about a group of female employees who worked under harsh conditions and died because of them, Harbour said.

Many of the cast members did not hear about this real event until they started working on the performance.

“I didn’t know about this until I was in the play and this was the biggest event in New York City before nine-eleven,” Julianne Norkus, junior theatre major and performer, said

The cast members compared the production’s story on the true event to the happenings of 9/11.

“Working on this definitely put things into perspective on 9/11. These factory workers jumped out of the factory’s building at ten floors and nine-eleven victims jumped out higher than that,” Christina Shores, freshmen communication arts major, said.

The Triangle Factory Fire Project production opens Wednesday, Oct. 3 and runs through Oct. 10 with a matinee performance on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets for students are $5 and $10 for faculty and staff.