The Subversive Theatre Collective:

2002-2017: Now in Year #14 of our Kamikaze Journey!
Subversive Theatre: Where pissing you off is only the beginning

Home Page

Up Next

Our 2016-2017 Season of Plays

About Our Playhouse

Buy Tickets Online

Contact Us/ Contributions


Meet the Collective

Our Manifesto

Previous Productions


Special Programs

  "The Arts are the 
locale for a kind of guerilla warfare . . . they're subtle so the Establishment gambles that they won't lead to anything threatening.     
   But the Establishment often loses that gamble." 

-Howard Zinn

Emanuel "Manny" Fried

     Since 1913, Emanuel "Manny" Fried has led an extraordinary and inspiring life that encompassed a career as a radical union organizer and a political activist as well as a theatre performer and internationally recognized playwright.
     Born and raised on Buffalo's East Side, Manny began factory work in his late teens.  Traveling back and forth between Buffalo and New York City throughout the 1920s and 30s, he launched an impressive acting career under the stage name "Edward Mann" working with many of the most respected names of the American Theatre including Lee Strasburg, Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, and John Garfield.  
     Deeply influenced by the militant labor movement of the 1930s, he left his life as an actor behind to become the Western New York Regional Organizer for the radical union United Electric (UE) in 1941.  An outspoken labor leader, Manny led multiple drives to organize whole sections of the working people of Buffalo and even ran for Congress with the American Labor Party in 1948.

The Most Dangerous Man in Western New York!
     With the rise of McCarthyism in the 1940s and 1950s, Manny was increasingly under attack for his openly left-wing political beliefs and his militant stand for the rights of labor.  In 1955, the local Jesuit priest Father Clancy called for a boycott of Manny's wife's restaurant, the Park Lane, asserting that Manny was "the most dangerous man in Western New York!"
Twice called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) -- first in 1956 and then again in 1960 -- he defiantly refused to answer questions proclaiming the Committee to be un-Constitutional.
     In 1956, Manny was maneuvered out of his position in UE.  Blacklisted, he was unable to find work in the United States for the next sixteen years.  As late as 1966, the FBI publicly branded Manny Fried as "a symbol of the left that must be broken."

The Return to The Theatre.
Throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, Manny resumed his work in the theatre performing and writing an extensive body of plays many of which chronicle his personal experiences in the labor movement.  His plays include BIG BEN HOOD, BROTHER GORSKI, and COCOON.  His most successful work, DODO BIRD, is still performed around the world . . . and recently enjoyed it's fourth rendition here in Buffalo.
     As an actor, Manny has appeared on practically every stage in town winning the Award for Outstanding Actor in the Buffalo United Artists' VISITING MR. GREEN and achieving much notoriety in Studio Arena's productions of TWELVE ANGRY MEN, GOLFING WITH ALAN SHEPPARD, and -- most recently -- TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.

And That Catches Us Up To Today.
     Now 95-years-young, Manny still teaches creative writing at the State University College at Buffalo where he is proudly a member of the union United University Professions (UUP), Local 2190.
     In a recent interview, he summed up his philosophy of life in six beautifully blunt and fiery words: "Don't let the SOBs get you!"

Click here to return to the MEET THE COLLECTIVE mainpage

Copyright (c) 2002-13, Subversive Theatre Collective.  All rights reserved.