'Rags': Everyone has a story


BRATTLEBORO — New England Youth Theatre invites the community to share their family immigration stories as a part of their production of "Rags," which opens on Thursday, Dec. 6.

"Everyone has a story," said Hallie Flower, Executive Director of NEYT. "We want to open up our theatre as a place for people to share how their ancestors came to this country." As part of the celebration of the immigrant experience with their Holiday Musical Rags, NEYT will post stories and photos on their "What's Your Story" Immigration Wall in the lobby for audience members to enjoy as a part of the theater experience.

"Rags" tells the story of Jewish immigrants during the height of the great wave of immigration flooding into America from Eastern Europe in 1910. As they struggle to make a new life in Manhattan's Lower East Side, they are faced with inequality, intolerance and corruption. And while the city streets may not be paved with gold, they echo with the music of opportunity, optimism and hope in this deeply moving and inspirational saga of awakenings and disappointments, of greed and power, and of strength and love. With with a book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and music by Charles Strouse, the story examines the issues of prejudice, violence and hate that the immigrants experienced upon arriving in this country, and that still have relevance today.

We are undeniably a nation full of transplants. Whether your family been here in this country for generations, or arrived just a few years ago; whether they traveled many miles to set down roots or came from just over the border, NEYT wants to hear your story. If you have a picture to share, or a short description of your family's immigration story, they can be emailed katrinaspenceman@gmail.com, or you can bring them to the theater weekday afternoons, or bring them with you to a performance.

"Rags" performs Dec. 6 through 8 and 13 through 15 at 7 p.m.; and Dec. 8 and 9, and 15 and 16, at 2 p.m. Tickets for these performances are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $13 for students.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at neyt.org, in person at the NEYT box office, or by phone, 802-246-6398 from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. The show plays at New England Youth Theatre, 100 Flat St. NEYT is an accessible theater, with accommodations for wheelchairs, and Assistive Listening Devices for patrons who are hard of hearing.



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