Jimmy Higgins: Line By Byline — a one-man play

Jimmy Higgins: Line By Byline — a one-man play

A Life In The Labor Movement

by Harlan Baker

(For professional, amateur or educational theatre production)

Jimmy Higgins: Line By Byline is about an old radical who tells his story to a young man. Jimmy  grows up in the first half of the 20th century in middle America. The play follows his involvement in various labor and socialist struggles from the campaign to free Tom Mooney, the presidential campaign of Eugene Debs, the May Day rallies of 1919, the campaign of Sen. Robert La Follette Sr. on the Progressive Party Ticket to his becoming a reporter on labor struggles in Alabama and Michigan. He witnesses the Battle of the Overpass and Henry Ford’s violent attempt to intimidate labor leader Walter Ruether. This is a tour-de-force production for a single actor. While many of the characters have a basis in actual history, Jimmy Higgins, himself, is a fictional character tying together the events of the early 20th Century.


  • 1m
  • Simple set, costume and prop
    The play is set in 1960 in Jimmy Higgins’s apartment and in flashback to various times and places in the early 20th Century. Scenic Projections are possible.
  • Scene 1 “What’s this article for?” — 1960
    Scene 2 “I was born in Sandusky Ohio” — 1900-1917
    Scene 3 “Congress Declares War — 1917-1918
    Scene 4 Eugene Debs speaks — 1918
    Scene 5 Revolution — 1919
    Scene 6 I cast my first vote — 1924
    Scene 7 Down South — 1936
    Scene 8 The Battle of the Overpass — 1937
    Scene 9 “Do you have enough for your article?” — 1960
  • 85 minutes
  • ORDER #3324


“In the time it takes to pour two shots of whiskey into a tall glass, Harlan Baker – teacher, actor and former legislator – becomes ‘Jimmy Higgins’, a rank and file union and socialist activist who also happens to be an ink-in-the-veins journalist.”
James McCarthy, Brunswick Times Record

“What follows is a lot like novelist John dos Passos’s famous U.S.A. trilogy, in that Jimmy experiences both the actual political events and fictionalized personal ones.”
Megan Grumling, The Portland Phoenix

“We all know how the history of the working class has been distorted, hidden and forgotten. Baker’s mission is to bring back some of that history, bring it to life, and tell the untold stories, perhaps even to a new generation.”
Ron Blascoe, Union Labor News-Wisconsin



Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account), EMAIL us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Before we ship any rehearsal material we will need your performance dates, the name of your organization and the theatre where you will perform.

Email us prior to your order so we have the info to give you a complete quote. EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3324a : $25.00 (will be sent to you by email, from which you will be authorized to print copies for your production)


  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3324d : $60.00



  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3324e : $50.00

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application


  • Storm Warnings Repertory Theatre, Kennebunk, Maine—2018
  • Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland Maine-2017
  • Old Labor Hall, Barre, Vermont—2015
  • PortFringe , Portland, Maine– 2012
  • Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine — 2011
  • Lucid Stage, Portland, Maine–2011
  • Labor Temple, Madison, Wisconsin –2011
  • Old Port Playhouse, Portland, Maine-2010
  • University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine –2009
  • Holderness School, Holderness, New Hampshire—2009
  • Zero Station Gallery, Portland, Maine—2008
  • University of New England, Biddeford, Maine–2008
  • Acorn Studio Theater, Westbrook, Maine –2008
  • Theatre Project, Brunswick, Maine –2008
  • St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland — 2008


    The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:
    Jimmy Higgins: Line By Byline

    A Life in the Labor Movement

    A One-Man show by
    Harlan Baker


    NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play.

    Jimmy Higgins: Line By Byline” is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT, www.leicesterbaytheatricals.com”

    from the catalog of