Event Details

Ellis Island

Time: April 22, 2016 from 7:30pm to 10pm
Location: Southbridge Middle/High School
Street: 132 Torrey Road
City/Town: Southbridge, MA 01550
Website or Map: https://www.facebook.com/even…
Phone: 508-764-4531
Event Type: community, theatre, musical, production
Organized By: David Corkum
Latest Activity: Mar 7, 2016

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Event Description

Gateway Players Theatre in conjunction with the Southbridge Bicentennial Committee will present "Ellis Island" - book, music & lyrics by Cheryl Kemeny. Show dates are April 22 & 23 at 7:30pm and April 24 at 2:00pm. Performances will be held at the Southbridge Middle/High School, 132 Torrey Road in Southbridge. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for seniors and youth 17 and under. To purchase tickets please call 508-764-4531, or online at
This spring musical will directed by Lou-Ellen Corkum and produced by Kathi Grenier. Gwen O'Brien is stage manager and Chris Rubenacker is music director. David Corkum is the Technical Director, John Turpin is set builder, Suzanne Adams is responsible for props and Jeanne Dupuis will assist with costumes. Gateway Players is very excited that this production will be part of the Southbridge Bi-Centennial Celebration. This production is funded in part by a grant from the Southbridge Cultural Council, a local agency, supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
The 40+member cast includes people of all ages, depicting the various ethnic groups attempting to leave their homelands for a better life. Along the way, we will learn of their stories and conflicts as they interact with ticket sellers, ship personnel and others.
"Ellis Island" follows the lives of immigrants travelling to the United States during the year 1907. Whole families, single men and women and children board ships in various countries that will take them to the land o' the free, America. Some are going to be reunited with loved ones, while others are searching for adventure or freedom.
At Ellis Island the staff prepares for another busy day, inspecting the thousands of immigrants, granting some the answer to their dreams while sending some back to their homelands.
This show reminds all of the American Dream, and why people want to come to this country and it reinforces what makes our county great - equal opportunity for all.
The stories of the immigrants passing through Ellis Island give an exciting historical perspective, as well as remind some Southbridge residents of their own history.
"America, open your arms to a poor wandering soul." These opening lyrics set the tone for this epic adventure. Set in 1907 (the peak immigration year) the show tracks the lives of several immigrant families and individuals as they trek to America, some escaping from tyranny, through storm and illness, in search of the American dream - liberty and prosperity. The visions and anxieties of characters such as; Irish revolutionaries, Swedish, Italian, Hungarian and West Indian families, a Russian anarchist, and a Jewish ballerina escaping pogroms, are craftily interwoven to climax in a double wedding presided over by Commissioner Watchorn at the Ellis Island kissing post. This epic show gives a sense of the joys, fears and hardships that our immigrant forefathers experienced.

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