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New Play To Premiere at Ellis Island

Ellis Island, NY (February 2008) – The immigrant experience of legendary movie actor Bela Lugosi—best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula—comes to life seven times daily at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum’s intimate Living Theater beginning March 16 for a limited run. Written by playwright and screenwriter Aurorae Khoo, Taking a Chance on America: Bela Lugosi’s Ellis Island Story features a reenactment of the Ellis Island inspection process. The show also includes contemporary immigrant characters.

Produced and funded by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., this new 30-minute show will be presented seven days a week through mid-October. Show times are 10:45; 11:30; 12:15; 1:00; 2:30; 3:15; and 4:00. Admission is $6.00. For more information about Taking a Chance on America: Bela Lugosi’s Ellis Island Story or to make group reservations, contact The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation at 212-561-4500, ext. 0 or visit

And now for the first time, reserve ferry tickets (recommended for show-goers) are being offered, which allow ticket holders priority entry to security check-in and save wait time. Flex ferry tickets are also available. For ferry tickets and schedules, call Statue Cruises at 1-877-LADY" TIX or visit

The Living Theater is located in the Main Registry Building at Ellis Island, which underwent extensive restoration in the 1980s and reopened in 1990 as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, whose exhibits tell the inspiring story of American immigration and chronicle Ellis Island’s role in immigration history. It also houses the American Family Immigration History Center® that contains the ship passenger records of the more than 25 million people who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924. And the popular American Immigrant Wall of Honor®, the world’s largest wall of names, offers all Americans the chance to pay tribute to their immigrant ancestors, regardless of when or through which port they immigrated.

The Actors employed in this production are members of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Peg Zitko (212) 561-4517
Elizabeth Oravetz (212) 561-4542

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created a museum in the Statue’s base and the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and the American Family Immigration History Center®. Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.

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