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 addresses the issue of how the demise of a savings and loan affected all aspects 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