Productions Community Programs

FUREE in Pins & Needles

A New Revolutionary Musical in Brooklyn


In 1937 Pins & Needles was a hit musical written for and performed by the members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This amateur company ran on Broadway for four years and sent three different touring companies across the US.  With members of FUREE (Families United for Racial and Economic Equality), we adapted this historic musical to be performed by them.  FUREE in Pins and Needles is a community musical performed by a community that knows too well what they were singing about in 1937 and what they are singing about in 2011.

FUREE in Pins & Needles was the finale production of NYC… Just Like I Pictured It, The Foundry’s year-long, citywide community theatre festival in which 5 new theatre premieres re-imagined what our city might look like in the imaginations of artists and social justice communities — people whose passionate work is born of empathy and creative thinking, and the desire to inspire this in a larger public.


2011 : Performed at Irondale Theater, Fort Greene, Brooklyn



Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
Musical Direction by Richard Harper
Choreography by Camille A. Brown
Dramaturg: Melanie Joseph

Performed by FUREE members:
Shannon Barber, Stephen Barnes, Cynthia Butts, Marilyn Charles, Donna Douglas, Latisha Douglas, Earlyn ‘Kizzy’ Ferguson, Ermiyas Harper, Yosef Harper, Debbie Howell, Wanda Imasuen, Euston James, Cory Jeminez, Rita Michelle, Jackie Phillip, Valerie Phillips, Nova Strachan, Marsha Zeigler

Music & Lyrics by:
Harold Rome, Gene Raskin, Josh White, Leadbelly, Jim Garland, Earl Robinson & Yip Harburg

Scenes & Sketches by:
Arthur Arent, Melanie Joseph, Lynn Nottage, Sara Zatz/Ping Chong & Co. 
& members of the company

Set & Costume Design: Arnulfo Maldonado
Lighting Design: Sarah Sidman
Sound Design: Greg Tobler
Props Coordinator: Deborah Gaouette
Production Stage Manager: Heather Arnson
Stage Manager: Alejandra Duque



“The big voice and dramatic flair that served Wanda Imasuen well as a community organizer are turning out to translate nicely to another stage: musical comedy.  Ms. Imasuen plays several roles in an updated revival of the fabled 1937 musical revue, “Pins and Needles” that demonstrates that when it comes to the struggles of working people, as she puts it, “the same thing that was happening then is happening now.
The New York Times



Lyrics  (History, a little re-written ;=}