Late in the 1980's, many small towns, forsaken by large industry,
were the places most directly affected by what
is now known as the "Savings and Loan Crisis."
S & L officers used
depositor's money to make poor investments, and when the branches were no
longer financially viable, their doors closed. Depositor's got most
or all of their money back, if the institution was insured by the federal
government - but the people at the heart of the tragedy went largely unpunished,
even being permitted to keep everything that their enormous salaries and
the accompanying "perks" had allowed them to accumulate at the expense of
the businesses they were running into the ground. This period in time,
in a small northeastern town, is the background against which
Locked Up Down Shorty's is set.
The play addressed the issue of how the demise of a savings and loan affected all aspects of
a small town, through the eyes of an angry bar owner who was pushed past the limit of his tolerance
for legal-loopholes, when the head of the S & L that closed in his town is able to continue living
the "high-life" after being deemed "not guilty" of any crime relating to the failed bank.
Incorporating moments of high humor into the plight of the denizens of Shorty's bar, who are torn
between wanting to save their town, the only home they've ever known, and realizing that it's
already too late, Shorty's tells a timeless story of living, loving and losing in anytown, USA.
Photos by Becky Yeagle
Courtesy of Heidi Winston
Cover art by Emily Reilly