Stitch is an opera for 3 women and 3 sewing machines formed on the language and narrative of the seamstresses and the sweatshop: slip, back, cross, feather, chain, rip stitch; running, tacking, hemming stitch. The seamstresses look at life through the eyes of needles intent on keeping each other in a straight line; they poke more holes in each other than the cloth. A power struggle ensues. The women voice the conscious cramps that live in their bodies: self-denial, suppression, abstinence, agitation, arousal, wildness, compliance and restraint –


-clothes are restraints that hold and shape a body; the cut and selvage of my coat is stiff, the collar upright, the sleeves pinched. It tailors my stance. What would I be without it? Naked deformation. Women, fashion, sculpt each other, a dress code, a “proper” understructure = social compliance. Read the label on your shirt or dress. Where was it made? Who made it?

Vocalists:Neema Bickerseth, Christine Duncan, Patricia O’Callaghan
Libertto: Anna Chatterton, Christine Duncan, Juliet Palmer, Christie Pearson

vintage sweatshop NYC

contemporary sweatshop Asia

DIY sewing cafe Paris

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