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RE-LIVE THE IMMIGRANT JOURNEY THROUGH “A TASTE OF FREEDOM” NEW PLAY PREMIERES AT ELLIS ISLAND


Ellis Island, NY (April 2004) -  A hopeful young mother, Irena, and her spirited daughter, Kasia, must undertake the biggest journey of their lives, when they leave everything familiar behind to immigrate to America. But before they can pass through the “Golden Door” to reunite with Kasia’s father, Irena and Kasia must pass the dreaded inspection at Ellis Island – otherwise known as the “Island of Hope, Island of Tears.”

As Irena’s and Kasia’s journey unfolds, we are introduced to a lively cast of other immigrants from different countries and backgrounds: the narrator “Freedom” who aspires to become an entrepreneur in the mold of Donald Trump; the intrepid and feisty Louise, who leaves behind the grim fate of staring a cow in the face every morning as a farmer’s wife, to instead seek freedom, fortune and happiness in the New World.

Using food as both the framework and metaphor, “A Taste of Freedom” skillfully interweaves the stories and experiences of both modern day immigrants and their counterparts during Ellis Island’s Peak Immigration Years 1892 – 1924. America has become a mosaic of many cultures, peoples and food. For the immigrants of today and yesterday, food defines their culture, place and way of thinking. By coming to America, we have all benefited as each group has made a valuable and unique contribution to our culture through the common language of food.

The production is presented in the intimate Immigrant Living Theater, which is outfitted with full theatrical light and sound. *Professional members of the Actors Equity Association play a variety of roles that bring to life the experiences that are shared by the immigrants of today and the millions of immigrants who made their way to the shores of America through Ellis Island, the largest human migration in modern history.

Produced and funded by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., “A Taste of Freedom” is based upon actual immigration information obtained from various ship passenger manifests, located in the American Family Immigration History Center™ (www.ellisisland.org), as well as the oral histories of Ellis Island immigrants, now stored for posterity in the museum’s Oral History Archives.

The site also allows millions of visitors who successfully locate their family immigration records to purchase actual copies of their ancestor’s original ship’s passenger manifest, as well as a picture of the ship which carried their ancestor to America. Both are reproduced on archival quality paper. There are over 3 ˝ million manifest pages available on the site, as well as images of over 800 passenger ships.

“A Taste of Freedom” is presented seven times daily Monday through Sunday, 10:45, 11:30, 12:15, 1:00, 2:30, 3:15 and 4:00. The play will run until November 7, 2004.

Admission is $5.00. For more information or to make group reservations, contact:
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.
(212) 561-4539
cdugan@ellisisland.org


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Peg Zitko
(212)561-4517
pzitko@ellisisland.org

Maria Antenorcruz
(212)561-4542
mlangen@ellisisland.org

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


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