The Salem State University theatre department presents the Tony-award winning musical Ragtime, which was written by Terrence McNally (book), Stephen Flaherty (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics). Based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name, the musical is a kaleidoscopic view of American life at the turn of the 20th century. Yet, with themes centered on race, immigration, women’s rights and labor rights, Ragtime is a very contemporary story in the way it reflects the country’s current political and social climate. The production runs April 11-20 in the Sophia Gordon Center and is directed by Peter Sampieri, with music direction by Joseph Stroup and choreography by Jenna Pollack.
Ragtime interweaves the stories of an upper-class white family living in New Rochelle, NY, an African American musician from Harlem named Coalhouse Walker, Jr. and his beloved Sara and Tateh who with his young daughter are Latvian immigrants to New York. As the show unfolds the audience learns about the main characters’ individual stories, following narratives which are connected by famous real-life figures of the time, including Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Henry Ford, and others. Eventually, all of the main characters stories intersect in ways that will change their lives forever. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair and what it means to live in America.
This production also includes an opportunity for audience members to learn more about local organizations whose missions align with the themes of the show. Salem State’s Center for the Arts and Center for Civic Engagement are hosting a different local community partner at each performance. Partners will be present in the lobby before and after the performance with information about their work and opportunities to engage with them. The current schedule is: April 11 - NS Community Development Coalition; April 12 - Lynn Economic Opportunity; April 13 - House of 7 Gables Settlement Association; April 18- Citizen's Inn; April 19- Salem' No Place for Hate Committee; April 20 - Latino Leadership Coalition and Point Neighborhood Association.
Performance times: April 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 pm. April 14 at 2 pm and April 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 pm. A pre-show Prelude conversation with the creative team takes place on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 pm. Tickets: $20 general/$15 seniors and students 18 and above/free for students under 18. Friday, April 12 is Salem Night with free admission for Salem residents. This show is for mature audiences and is not appropriate for children. Purchase at salemstatetickets.com or 978.542.6365.
Saturday, June 1
Monday, May 27