Chicago-based Griffin Theatre Company brings their world premiere drama "In to America" to the Chalberg Stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Central Lakes College in Brainerd as part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center's Cultural Arts Series.
Using personal diaries, journals and documented historical narratives, "In to America" traces the American immigrant experience from Jamestown to present day through the true stories of ordinary men, women and children who departed their homelands in the hopes of creating a new life. It is an extraordinary story 400 years in the making that transcends time, space and race to reflect the diversity and the true stories of commonalities of our shared American experience.
Series Producer Patrick Spradlin noted that this is the third time he's presented the Griffin Theatre.
"We had them here with two other shows," he said. "'Letters Home,' which was a powerful contemporary story about men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, told through their correspondence with loved ones in the states. And, more recently, 'Ghosts of War,' a soldier's true story of service. The author/soldier, Ryan Smithson, led discussion after the play. Both were tremendous productions and very well received."
"In to America" employs the use of images and video projected behind the actors as they perform the pieces as dramatic monologues. To enhance the theatrical experience of the play, all performances are followed by a post-play discussion.
"We tend to forget that the Pilgrims were the first immigrants to this new land," said Spradlin. "Today, our conversation about immigrants and immigration is so fraught with political side-taking that we would all do well to look at the entirety of the immigrant experience."
Celebrating its 28th season, the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire with wit, style and compassion for the audience.
Tickets for "In to America" are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com.
"In to America" is sponsored by the Central Lakes College Office of Equity and Inclusion. This production is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.
The entire CLC Performing Arts Center season is made possible in part by an operating grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.