Monday morning greetings all!
Hard to believe that we are already starting another week in the month of May. Before you know it, Summer will be here with the sunshine, heat waves, and freeze pops! Woo!
For those of you who may already know, I’m currently involved in the Ephrata Performing Arts Center production of Ragtime.This is my 23rd production at the theater that I’ve been a part of since starting back in 2010.
Whenever I’m involved with a show, it is always exciting for me to see how it can be related to the events of current day and our world. And boy, does this musical have extreme relevance with today’s society.
The musical is based on the 1975 novel written by E.L. Doctorow. It follows the stories of three groups of individuals in the United States during the early 20th century. African Americans are reprenented by Coahouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; uppert-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York, and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia.
The musical takes on issues such as race, gender, and immigration and painfully reminds us that we are still struggling to unite ourselves over the division of these issues even 113 years later.
Rehearsals for this production started in February, so as you can imagine a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) went into the making of show. The amount of talent that takes the stage throughout this production is unbelievable. There are not even words that can properly describe it because it has to be witnessed in person in order to understand.
In all my productions that I’ve done at EPAC, there have been only two that have made me cry during moments on stage.
One was a production of Hair back in 2017.
The other one?
Well, you guessed it. This one. Ragtime.
The stories that unfold during the plots combined with the lyrics sung through the many musical numbers are beautiful and heart-wrenching. They are a true testament to the individuals playing the characters that are brought to life with such passion and genuine vulnerability.
To me, one of the themes this show explores is how we must truly look inside ourselves to figure out we can work together to accept all people regardless of their religion, social status, sexual orientation, or skin color. It doesn’t matter and shouldn’t matter. Ever. Not today, not tomorrow, not 30 years from now.
In addition, the musical talks about how we must keep hope alive in the world so that the children and generations growing up after us in society can experience the American Dream and the country our forefathers imagined so many years ago.
Through the countless hours of rehearsal, lighting cues, costume changes, choreographed dance moments (and sitting moments), this is a show that has become a part of me. It has made me cry, made me laugh, and made me look at America–the country around me–as one in dire need of help to break the chains of social prejudice.
I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a production that makes such real, raw emotions flow from my body.
Please, you owe it to yourself to come out to this production. There are just 5 more chances to see it: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and two shows Saturday.
Head over to ephrataperformingscenter.com for ticket information.
We must go out and tell our story to the world. We must let it echo far and wide.
Make. Them. Hear. You.
Sprinkle sunshine always,