Spare a Dime

COSACOSA art at large, Inc.

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Music Family Theater

May 06, 1935 – Founding of the Works Progress Administration

A country divided: gluttonous greed gives way to pervasive poverty, unimaginable unemployment, hunger, and homelessness. There’s unrest in the streets, flash mobs and collective protests. Will the government act? Is yet another federal program the right solution to the problem? Is it America today? No! It's the America of 1935 -- specifically, May 6, 1935, the day that the Works Progress Administration was founded. COSACOSA’s Spare a Dime is an interactive, theatrical song cycle retelling true stories from the Great Depression and exploring the impact of the WPA on diverse communities -- urban and rural, citizens and immigrants, individuals of varying ages and backgrounds. Spare a Dime sets its stage through original songs, stories, visual art and new media projections featuring swirling deco-esque Liberty head dimes (in homage to the great film musicals of the era). Created in collaboration with intergenerational groups of COSACOSA constituents throughout Philadelphia, Spare a Dime explores the interplay of hopelessness and hope in times of economic crisis.

Spare A Dime was made possible through support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artistic Credits

Stories by Philadelphia area residents
Kimberly Niemela - Director/Composer
Production Coordination - Rodney Whittenberg
Musical Coordination - Jay Fluellen
Steve Teare and Bok Tech students - Projections
Gerardo McGarity-Algrett - Animations
The WPA photographers - Photography
George Muller -Sound and Lighting Design

Bill Gross - FDR, baritone
Khrista White - The Merchant, contralto
Victor Rodriguez - The Builder, tenor
Lourin Plant - The Veteran, baritone
Julian Coleman - The Immigrant, tenor
Phyllis Chapell - The Farmer, mezzo-soprano
Venissa Santi - The Mother, soprano
Diminuto Music Studio Singers - The Chorus of Liberty
Brielle Leary & Andi Rose, sopranos
Donnie Hammond & Sherria Watts, altos
Joanne Joella, contralto
Brian Rothman, tenor
Bruce Fero, baritone
Gary Bullock, bass

Jay Fluellen - Piano
Rodney Whittenberg - Guitar
Jason Fraticelli - Double Bass
François Zayas - Percussion
Ken Ulansey - Woodwinds

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Bok Tech Theater
8th and Mifflin Street
Phila, PA 19148
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  • X
    Showtimes for:
    Apr 18, 2013
    7:30 pm   
  • X
    Showtimes for:
    Apr 19, 2013
    7:30 pm   
  • X
    Showtimes for:
    Apr 20, 2013
    7:30 pm   
Times & Tickets