Food prices shot up overnight. Starvation threatened families from Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the Lower East Side to the Bronx. The city did nothing. A group of women came together

to demand action. Boycotts accelerated into riots. The year was 1917.

Using original text and source materials, Give Us Bread tells the remarkable true story of immigrant women who united to feed their families… and a city, providing a lens

with which to examine today’s food crisis.

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Conceived & Written by: Melissa Moschitto

Devised by: the Ensemble
Directed by: Melissa Moschitto

Performances by: Jean Goto, Jennifer Griffee, Jennifer Moses, Shayna Padovano, Katy Rubin and Sonja Sweeney

Lighting Design: Andrew Merkel

Scenic/Projection Design: Maggie Pilat

Costume/Props Design: Alexandra Rubin

Dramaturgy: Louise Gough

Assistant Director/Production Stage Manager: Brandi Klein

Assistant Costume Designer: Sarah Biesinger

Dialect Coach: Carolyn Ladd  

Press Representative: Marcy Clark  

Light Board Operator: Josh Lucero

Translation: Shayna Padovano & Katy Rubin

Select Choreography: Shayna Padovano

Photography: Kim Nora

Postcard Design: Ben Paddock  

Program Cover Art: Miriam Weinstein




World Premiere - The Milagro Theater

(Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center)

June 5-21


Keynote Event - Hofstra University's Day of Dialogue VII: A New Direction for the US and the World - 




7th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week. Co-presented by the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center


6th Annual Berkshire Fringe (Great Barrington, MA)


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“Both the script and the performances by the young cast are engaging, heartfelt and rarely preachy.”
(Valley Advocate)

“Give Us Bread is a completely engrossing 90 minutes of unabashed entertainment...” (

“gritty and gorgeous ... inspiring, eye opening”

(Media Harvest)

“The actresses play their respective roles with strength and intelligence...” (

“... with fantastic characters, subtle acting and a plot that grips you from the first scene and never insults your intelligence.”

(Raj Patel, Stuffed & Starved)

“All six women turned in stellar performances and functioned flawlessly as an ensemble...”

The research for this play is catalogued in a research blog,

The Food Riot Project


The play was produced alongside a three-week programming series, The Food Riot Project designed to connect the historical events of 1917 to contemporary food issues, locally, nationally and globally.


Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

The Puffin Foundation

Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance