posted January 8, 2005
‘Hold the Light’

‘Hold the Light’ is a play in 3 acts and story about a group of young communications industry workers forced out on a strike that lasts six months. The play focuses on the dynamic interaction of three sets of characters on the union side. The first is the young workers themselves, men and women all in their early twenties and many from minority backgrounds. The second is the older white Anglo leadership of their local union. The third is the International union’s representatives assigned to the local during the strike, initially to disburse strike funds but eventually to force and end to the conflict by various means.

The main protagonists of the play are the local’s President, the two stewards’ rank and file bargaining committee members, and the International Union’s representative. All three sets of characters interact and conflict in various ways throughout the play as their interests diverge and simultaneously conflict as bargaining negotiations and the strike persist. The play is about the nature of that multi-level conflict, latent initially, but which is sharpened and brought to ahead by the strike.

The First Act of ‘Hold the Light’ focuses on scenes revealing collective bargaining negotiation between the company, their lawyers, and their corporate headquarters on the one hand, and the bargaining committee, their local union’s president, and their International Union on the other. Negotiations collapse with the close of Act One, and the Second Act moves on to a series of scenes that depict the respective strategies and tactics of the company, and the workers, as each tries to get the upper hand. In the final, Third Act, the International Union breaks ranks with the local and the workers after the local’s president is mysteriously attacked by unknown assailants and hospitalized. The company and the International bring an end to the strike. The young workers lose the strike in terms of immediate economic gains, but in the process learn what a union truly is, maintain their organization, and gain an understanding far more valuable in the end.

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