Scope and Contents
Title: Bay Area Labor Theatre records
Date (inclusive): circa 1980-1982
Collection number: larc.ms.0246
Accession number: >1996/063
Extent: .75 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
Labor Archives and Research Center
J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
Languages represented in the collection:
Location: Collection is available onsite.
Abstract: Records include governance documents including some minutes, the articles of incorporation, by-laws, and balloting results.
Collection is open for research.
Bay Area Labor Theatre Records, larc.ms.0228, contains additional materials. This collection is unprocessed.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing
to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Labor Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended
to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be
obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Bay Area Labor Theatre Records, larc.ms.0246, Labor Archives and Research Center,
San Francisco State University.
This material was donated by Richard O. Jarrett in the fall of 1996, accession number 1996/063.
The Bay Area Labor Theatre was a multi-project political theater association of over 75 workers and artists from around the
San Francisco Bay. BALT campaigned in support for local labor strikes, abortion rights, and against U. S. intervention in
Central America. Internally work focused on skills development workshops. BALT projects included a picket line troupe, Front
Line Action Collective (FLAC) which brought short, issue oriented sketches to picket lines, rallies and meetings through out
the area; an improvisation workshop; a 25 voice Labor Chorus performing upbeat programs of songs, developing a musical revue
to tour theaters and union halls; a KPFA radio project; and a publication,
Critical Times. BALT also became involved in teaching, participating in a San Francisco Community College Labor Studies Department program
(May 1981) entitled "Work, Workers and Workers Art."
Bill Shields, a co-founder of BALT with Kevin Benge and Vesta Gray and a member of the Board of Directors, 1980-1982, co-produced
with Rose Panico, KPFA's Swing N 'Shift, offering up a biweekly smorgasbord of satire, song, drama and documentary. The show
premiered on May 28, 1981.
Richard O. Jarrett was a past President and member of the BALT Board of Directors (1981-1982), and a member of the American
Federation of Postal Workers. He was active in Bay Area cultural life as a performer, writer and teacher since the late 1940's.
Scope and Contents
Records include governance documents including some minutes, the articles of incorporation, by-laws, and balloting results.
Records from activities recount stage and radio presentations including radio program by Bill Shields on KPFA underwritten
by a $5000 NEA grant. Activities also include promotion, outreach, classes, production ideas and agit-prop theater, poetry
and arts and letters.