“My God, Joe – the world is supposed to be for all of us”
Waiting for Lefty
by Clifford Odets
A Reamus Youth Theatre Production
Director: Joanne Lawler
May 7 to 22
At Maitland Repertory Theatre
Written in 1935 amid the American Great Depression, Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty captures a meeting of New York taxi drivers ready to strike. The corrupt union head does everything he can to discourage a decision to strike, but as they wait for their leader Lefty Costello to arrive, members of the workers committee step forward to tell heart-wrenching tales of the conditions that have brought each of them individually to the point of no return.
With families they cannot feed, a society fraught with injustice and no future in sight, they are determined to fight to the death for the right to live like a man; a whole, fully realised person, in a world in which success – “your name in the papers”, “fame and fortune” – is God.
The strike is not about a few extra pennies in their pay or shorter hours of work but a strike for a greater dignity, for a bolder humanity; a strike for the full stature of man.