the girl with the rivet gun
currently in development
The Girl With The Rivet Gun is a new tablet-based documentary project that explores the crucial role women workers played in World War II, and how these pioneering "Rosies" inspired future generations of women. Real-life Rosie the Riveters, now in their 80s and 90s, will be brought to life through intimate first-person narratives, short animated films, and rarely seen archival materials in an interactive journey for viewers. With with a team of inspiring animation artists, documentary filmmakers, and new media designers, The Girl With The Rivet Gun melds history, filmmaking and new technology together to bring deeper understanding to the Rosie movement and its vital place in American history.
Today the title “Rosie the Riveter” brings to mind the familiar “We Can Do It” poster girl, an icon for patriotism, strength and female determination. But only a few recall the real-life Rosies, the women who flocked to the nation’s industrial centers, leaving farms and families, stoves and sewing machines, to help create Roosevelt’s “arsenal of democracy.” In bursting out, they crushed the stereotype that gritty jobs in industry belonged only to men and changed forever the perception of what women could do.
The Girl With The Rivet Gun was inspired by the women of “The Real Rosie the Riveter Project,” an oral history collection created by the filmmakers in conjunction with Dr.Michael Nash and New York University’s Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. The real Rosies we met in creating that archive were of many races and backgrounds and came to their defense jobs from every conceivable place. They talk about the home front, race riots, the atom bomb, romance, loss, and carbon steel. And about throwing rivets, of course. Growing up in the Great Depression, these women bloomed with ambition and newfound independence. They thrived on meeting others like themselves, overcoming stereotypes and discovering that it was not shameful to wear work clothes, get your hands greasy, use your muscles and wits. And in leaving home, they entered a world grappling with issues of class, race and sexuality.
This project is being produced in association with Providence Productions and Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. She is the founder of “Behind The Scenes at Tisch,” a program dedicated to developing new works by new writers at New York University, where she received her MFA in 2003. Her plays have been presented in venues from New York to Los Angeles, including the Williamstown Theater Festival, The Denver Center and, most recently, the University of Texas/Austin. Her play “Squall” is available through Playscripts, Inc., which has published her short works in two collections. Her short film “Pissed,” starring Jessica Hecht and Grant Shaud, will debut in the coming months. Elizabeth is a founding board member of Dancing Dreams, a program that fosters an environment where children with physical challenges, along with their teenage helpers, participate in the art of dance, giving them a chance to experience the pure joy of movement. Elizabeth is also a board member of Women's Voices For Change, an organization dedicated to redefining life after 40, which runs www.womensvoicesforchange.org.