In Good Company proudly announces the world premiere of The Golden Door, a new musical play about the challenges faced by Boston immigrants both past and present. Written by award-winning local playwright Joyce Van Dyke and directed by Emily Ranii, the play will be performed on May 16 and 17 at 7:30 PM at the Cambridge YMCA Theater, 820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Music direction is by Kay Dunlap.
As the play unfolds, an Armenian-Italian couple operate a failing Armenian grocery store in a transitional Boston neighborhood. Unexpected events bring local immigrants from China, Mexico and the Caribbean into the store, creating tension around the changes in the neighborhood. As the customers share their struggle to honor their past while fitting in as “Americans,” they begin to change how they see each other, impacting both the future of the store and their neighborhood.
Members of In Good Company have examined the theme of immigration before. An earlier show, An American Journey, focused on the great wave of immigrants that came to Boston in 1907. The Golden Door explores both what happened to earlier Irish, Italian, Armenian, and Jewish immigrants, and connects them and the audience to more recent immigrant groups from China, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
Playwright Joyce Van Dyke, who wrote the critically acclaimed Deported / a dream play focusing on the impact of the Armenian genocide on today’s immigrants, said of The Golden Door, “[This play] deals with immigration right now, but set in the context of our history as a nation of immigrants. I’m the granddaughter of Armenian immigrants, and this subject is very close to my heart. I myself feel gripped by the daily stories of what immigrants from other cultures are going through now as our country tries to define who we are. I hope we’ve caught some of that intensity and struggle and yearning in our net through the songs and stories of this play.”
In Good Company creates original musical theater productions inspired by history and presents them in schools in the greater Boston area and in communities across southern New England. The cast includes members who are first generation immigrants from Ireland and Eastern Europe, as well as guest artists representing China, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Traditional singer and dancer, Liwen Wang plays Hsaio Ling, a music teacher at the local school. Rosa Elena Rivera plays Marisol, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, and Theolonius Griffin plays Luis, a video producer from the Dominican Republic.
Tickets for The Golden Door are $20 for Adults; $15 for students/seniors; $5 for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. www.ingoodcompanytheater.org .