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Stagecrafters’ Ragtime will empower and inspire this fall. Powerful Musical Focuses on the American Dream

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.

Cast List by Community:

Last Name First Name Role City
Berger Ed Ens – New Rochelle Ann Arbor
Cancro Diane Ens – Immigrant Berkley
Haines Jerry Booker T Washington Berkley
May Ethan Houdini Berkley
Rydzewski Sara Mother Berkley
Smith Caitlin Ens – New Rochelle Berkley
Lane Patrick Tateh Bloomfield Hills
Manning Terri Sarah’s Friend Bloomfield Hills
Edwards Donna Ens – New Rochelle Clawson
Thornton Ashley Ens – New Rochelle Clawson
Carter Krystle Ens – Harlem Detroit
Holloway Whitney Ens – Harlem Detroit
King Damaris Ens – Harlem Detroit
Martin Ryan Ens – Harlem Detroit
Rush Ariel Ens – Harlem Detroit
Rice Michael Ens – Harlem Eastpointe
Armstrong Nicole Ens – Immigrant Ferndale
Boyle Jenny Ens – Immigrant Ferndale
Dyer Joseph Ens – New Rochelle Ferndale
LaMacchio Lauren Ens – Harlem Ferndale
Miga Matthew Younger Brother Ferndale
Stewart-Hoffman Kathryn Ens – Immigrant Ferndale
Ballnik Patrick Ens – New Rochelle Hazel Park
Harris Katie Evelyn Nesbit Hazel Park
Digue Justin Willie Conklin Howell
Renas Kirsten Ens – Immigrant Inkster
Volpe Samantha Ens – Immigrant Lathrup Village
Renas Jane Ens – New Rochelle Livonia
Stevenson Joseph Ens – Immigrant Oak Park
Leonard Caryn Ens – Immigrant Pleasant Ridge
O’Brien Caitlin Ens – New Rochelle Rochester
Simpson Josh Ens – Immigrant Rochester
Trevarrow Emily Ens – Immigrant Rochester
Janney Greg Henry Ford Rochester Hills
Marselle Sandra Ens – Immigrant Rochester Hills
Dewey Andrea Ens – New Rochelle Royal Oak
Guay Edmond Father Royal Oak
Fell Erika Ens – New Rochelle Royal Oak
Hanes Lisa-Aline Ens – Immigrant Royal Oak
Krell Thomas Grandfather Royal Oak
Lavallee Sofie Little Girl Royal Oak
Morrow Rocco Little Boy Royal Oak
Regan Tom JP Morgan Royal Oak
Seaver Tristan Ens – New Rochelle Royal Oak
Walker Dez Coalhouse Royal Oak
Ward Jennifer Ens – New Rochelle Royal Oak
Woods Jo Ens – Immigrant Royal Oak
DiFonzo Lia Ens – Immigrant Sterling Heights
Hinton Mark Ens – New Rochelle Sterling Heights
Warner Kathleen Ens – New Rochelle Sterling Heights
Brown Dionte Ens – Harlem Taylor
Dsouza Rocky Ens – Immigrant Troy
Valimont Erica Ens – Immigrant Warren
Woods Jeriel Ens – Harlem Warren
Green Kaela Sarah Wayne
Hill Mykael Ens – Harlem West Bloomfield
Merlo Tony Ens – Immigrant West Bloomfield
Yeager Lynette Emma Goldman Utica
Mobley Taylor Ens – Harlem Van Buren Twp

 

Photo by Erin McKay

 

 

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