Beloved labor leader, playwright and agitator Manny Fried, who died in 2010, would have celebrated his 100th birthday today. To honor Fried’s centennial, his friends and supporters will gather tonight in the Manny Fried Playhouse (255 Great Arrow Ave.), home to the Subversive Theatre Collective, to share memories, songs and stories about Fried’s immeasurable influence on the artistic and political life and history of Western New York.
The event, called “Fried-om for All,” begins at 8 tonight. It will include a reading of Anna K. France’s new staged adaptation of Fried’s book “The Un-American,” a roundtable discussion led by Fried’s friend and colleague Keith Elkins, a talk by labor historian Alex Blair and a performance of labor songs by Phil Knoerzer.
“In his life, Manny Fried defied the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), fought the blacklist, ran for Congress, organized unions, wrote, acted and spoke out tirelessly for the rights of working people everywhere,” a statement from Subversive reads. “May his defiant legacy be an inspiration to us all!”
Fried was instrumental in the formation and community mission of Subversive Theatre, whose director Kurt Schneiderman was a close friend and follower of Fried. Schneiderman honored his mentor by naming his new theater – appropriately located in the former Pierce Arrow factory – after the labor leader in 2008.
Admission is by donation, with more information available at 408-0499 or www.subversivetheatre.org.
– Colin Dabkowski