Stagecrafters' RAGTIME Will Empower And Inspire This Fall

Stagecrafters' RAGTIME Will Empower And Inspire This Fall

Stagecrafters proudly presents Ragtime, onstage at the Baldwin Theatre from Friday, September 13, through Sunday, October 6, 2019.

It's the dawn of the 20th century, and a swiftly changing America is bursting with new energy. Set in the volatile melting pot of New York, the stories of three diverse Americans unfold-a stifled wife of a wealthy man, a gifted Harlem musician and a determined Jewish immigrant, all seeking fulfillment in the promise of the American dream. With a sumptuous score and a compelling story, this sweeping epic tells a tale as distinctly American as the rhythms of ragtime, the musical heart of an era.

Based on the 1975 novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, the musical was adapted to the stage and opened on Broadway in 1998. The Broadway production garnered 13 Tony Award nominations, and won several, including Best Book, Best Original Score, and Best Orchestration.

It was, in fact, the award-winning music that first drew director Randall Wrisinger to the show. "It's an incredible score soaring with melodies that enhance the beauty of the lyrics," he says. "[Composer] Stephen Flaherty and [lyricist] Lynn Ahrens have woven rich and haunting melodies that will move the soul." Among musical theatre lovers, Ragtime is known as the kind of show that actors and actresses will drop everything to perform in. Of those who auditioned, 60 were chosen, one of the largest casts to grace the Stagecrafters stage.

But perhaps the most powerful aspect to Ragtime is its story. It is, above all, the story of America, in all its beautiful and messy complexity, where countless people came to find freedom, while countless others were forcibly brought and denied freedom as slaves. The story of Ragtime has many "powerful and poetic moments," says Edmond Guay who portrays Father. "Regardless of the time frame, it speaks to eternal issues."

Actress Sarah Rydzewski, who plays Mother, says Ragtime is, in a word, magnificent. "I hope the audience is in as much awe as I was when I first saw this show. It's such a beautiful and meaningful piece of history."

She adds, "I hope it makes them think, and challenges them to think about the past, present, and future of this amazing country we live in."

Stagecrafters is proud to partner with Freedom House Detroit for the production of Ragtime. Freedom House is a temporary home for individuals and families fleeing persecution in other countries and seeking safety in the United States. Freedom House offers housing and basic needs, onsite legal aid, and a full suite of social services to help their clients heal from trauma, prepare for life in the U.S., and win asylum.

Says Freedom House development director, Thomas Rogers, "The partnership means a lot to us. To see the arts world begin to engage in a type of advocacy -- think 'artivism' -- through its support of local community nonprofits is inspiring. There is so much untapped potential for collaboration and impact on those in our community. Stagecrafters is working to leverage that and Freedom House is proud to be their first partner in this effort!"

Tickets for Ragtime are now on sale at Stagecrafters.org, or by calling the ticket office at 248-541-6430, Monday through Friday, 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Tickets are $23 on Thursdays and $27 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Discount tickets available for Veterans and youth 17 & under for Sunday and Thursday performances.



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