June 2nd, Waterloo, ON
They walk these floors at night. Working in the afterlife. Like the buttons they crafted, we are fastened to our history.
Explore the Button Factory’s past and present in she haunts this place, an immersive performance piece featuring University of Waterloo drama students and members of the Baden Storytellers.
Where: Button Factory Arts
25 Regina St South, Waterloo
Performances: Saturday, June 21st, 8pm, 10pm and midnight
Admission is free
This year, Button Factory Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary serving the community as an arts centre. But the building it inhabits served the community in a variety of industrial functions, primarily as Roschman’s Button Factory for which it was built in 1886. While the uses are dramatically different, the building still stands as a place for group work and collaborative creation.
It has been rumoured that some of the spirits of past workers still haunt the Button Factory. Renters, staff and tenants in the building claim to have heard women’s footsteps. It is very reasonable to believe the spirits are those of women, as the Button Factory was one of the few places where young women could find employment. A photograph taken in 1890, found in Waterloo: An Illustrated History, affirms there were many female staff. The photograph has been very inspirational in the creation process. Many of the staff members were quite young. The production imagines the reality of these girls and suggests that their spirits are still present in the building, and indeed the challenges they faced in the work place still haunt working women today.
The production weaves together a variety of different forms. It is directed by Andy Houston and features stories told by Brenda Byers, Mary McCullum Baldasaro and Michele Braniff, all members of the Baden Storytellers; University of Waterloo drama students; film and projections by Samuel Houston; music by Meghan Bunce.
[S]he haunts this place, is part of a series of events called “Button-Up, Button-Down”, which reflect on the history of the Button Factory. These events include an exterior installation and gallery exhibit from June 21st – July 25th. All aspects of the project have been supported generously through the Ontario Arts Council, Multi and Integrated Arts grant. These events are also a part of the Summer Lights Festival on June 21st in Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener.
For more information regarding the performance contact: Andy Houston, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding Button Factory Arts, the installation or gallery exhibit contact: Heather Franklin, Executive Director of Button Factory Arts: email@example.com