Production Stage Manager/Technical Director
April 21-23, 2022 | 7:30 PM + 2:00 pm on Saturday
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
On-Demand Streaming - May 6-June 6, 2022
Conceived and choreographed by Marsha Fay Knight, professor/ researcher from the University of Wyoming.
Inspiring, cautionary, and human, the script for this multi-genre work is anchored on the sea of stories held at Ellis Island. RDT dancers and six actors offer reflections on freedom and American identity from those who took drastic steps to improve their lives. Making the immigrant experience human and individual is at the heart of this work.
Immigration and refugee crisis are critical topics now as they were 100 years ago. Unsubstantiated fear and misinformation prompt current policies and actions of bias, beckoning reflection and awareness of who we are and the true diversity of our constitution. Attitudes toward access and response to need and crisis can benefit from stories – inspiring, cautionary and human – of those who helped build this country.
Millions of stories came through Ellis Island during the years of comparatively open immigration (1892-1922). Six Songs from Ellis
is a multi-genre work based on these oral histories, demonstrating commonalities past and present encountered by those taking drastic steps to improve their lives. Making the immigrant experience human and individual is at the heart of this work.
The script is based entirely on oral histories of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island—many excerpts thematically grouped having to do with reasons for leaving, forced removal from home, reflections on this and their journey, arrival in the NY Harbor, and statements on their lives as Americans; contributions made to our society. In short—why people make drastic moves to change their lives.