From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks

“Harry Bridges is one of the most important labor leaders of the 20th century, and Ian Ruskin, in his one-man show, has captured him -- his persona, his ideas -- brilliantly. There were times when I forgot this was someone other than Harry Bridges speaking. It is a valuable piece of working-class history, presented colorfully and intelligently."

                                 Howard Zinn, Historian, Playwright and Social Activist

This multi-media production is a human portrayal of Bridge's passion, struggles and wicked sense of humor. It features Bridges' own words, from his rallying speeches of the 1930s and his electrifying testimony at his trials to the words of his contemporaries. The play is designed for performances in theaters, union halls, community centers, and universities. It had its world premieres at the University of Washington Summer Arts Festival, Seattle and at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

Ian has performed the play over

200 times to approximately 50,000 people in high schools, universities, union conventions, theatres, museums, libraries and citizens’ groups. He has performed across America and in Canada, Hawai’i, England and at the New Theatre in Sydney, Australia. The film version has aired on PBS for the last three years (See The Film page)

"Ian Ruskin's play about Harry Bridges and the West Coast dock workers brings to life the story of one of the most important leaders and one of the most militant unions in American Labor history. While the story primarily covers a period some 50 to 70 years ago, the message applies to the struggles workers face today. I wholeheartedly recommend this play to all trade unionists whether you are a seasoned organizer or just joined your first union.”

                                 Richard Trumka, President, AFL – CIO

For Booking Information click here.


Some Earlier Performances

        on the opening night of Grand Performances, California Plaza,         downtown Los Angeles, California, June 17th, 2011, free and open         to the public. "From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks" this year.

        at the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse, Seattle, Washington on          June 1st, 2011. Tickets $15, discount for students.

Sam & Harry

"Ian Ruskin's marvelous tribute to the renowned arbitrator Sam Kagel supassed our expectations in every way. The audience was at once informed, empowered and enthralled. I am proud to give my highest recommendation."                                                                           Chuck King, Organizational Development, California Teachers Association

This multi-media presentation entertains and educates as it focuses on the life and work of "Father of American Labor Arbitration" Sam Kagel.  Ian Ruskin, as Harry Bridges, introduces scenes from the Sam Kagel documentary "To Make a Long Story Short", and at times "converses" with Sam, while focusing on three themes –

 – the 50 plus year friendship and working

   relationship between the two men

– slices of Sam's extraordinary life — 

   from celebrating the end of World War I

   to walking up Market Street in the       

   great 1934 funeral march to getting     

   married, again, at age 93...

– his immense contributions to labor

   arbitratio in America, from Jimmy Hoffa

   to Barry Sanders, in over 10,000 case

"Excellent production. Always inspiring. A fabulous story about a great mediator/arbitrator. Terrific use of acting/video. He's the best!"

  Participants at a Center for Collaborative Solutions Convention

For Booking Information click here.