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Michigan State University

MSU Theatre Delivers a Modern Look on Unions with ‘Waiting for Lefty’

MSU Auditorium's Studio 60

March 26, 2024 - March 30, 2024

Performing Arts

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The complexities and struggles of a New York City cab drivers’ union on the verge of a strike is the focus of the next production by the Michigan State University Department of Theatre.

Offering a modern view to a 90-year-old story, the Department of Theatre presents Waiting for Lefty March 26-30 in the MSU Auditorium’s Studio 60.

Written by Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty is based on the New York City cab drivers’ strike of 1934. This one-act play is set during a meeting of the New York cab drivers’ union as they wait for the arrival of Lefty Costello, union organizer and the driving force behind the call for a strike. As workers wait, they share their heart-wrenching tales in their struggle to make ends meet.

This classic play still resonates today as labor disputes continue to loom large. The recent Screen Actors Guild and Writer’s Guild strikes are just two such examples.

This MSU production is part of the Department of Theatre’s Storefront Series, which provides dynamic roles to showcase and challenge acting students. With an emphasis on writing, acting, and directing, creative teams work with limited resources and shorter rehearsal periods.

Tickets for Just Cause and Waiting for Lefty are $10 for general admission and are available online at, at the Wharton Center ticketing office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.

Performance Times: 

  • Tuesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 29, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 30, at 8 p.m.