This PhD student is using the stage to explore city's tumultuous labour history

Rich Duthie uses the 1958 and 1978-79 Inco strikes as backdrop to 'explore the past' as part of his dissertation.

There's a lot of anniversaries intersecting right now when it comes to Greater Sudbury's mining labour history.

The 60th anniversary of the 87-day-long 1958 Mine Mill-Inco strike was last year. The 40th anniversary of the end of the nine-month-long 1978-79 USW-Inco strike is this month.

And coming up next month is the 10-year anniversary of the start of the historic, nearly-year-long 2009-2010 USW-Vale strike.

With the anniversaries of all of these historic Nickel City labour disputes as a backdrop, Sudbury native Rick Duthie has penned a 90-minute play called “One Day Stronger,” with three performances planned for this weekend.

The comedic drama — which takes its title from the union slogan “one day longer, one day stronger” — explores Sudbury’s labour history from the viewpoint of one family.

Laurie, played by Sudbury actress Miriam Cusson, relives her memories of growing up during the 1958 Inco strike, as she eavesdrops on the heated exchanges at her kitchen table.

She invokes the voices of her family and friends, played by Sudbury actor Matthew Heiti, moving forward through time to her present at the end of the 1978 Inco strike.

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