KSU presents musical theater RAGTIME; Focuses on turn-of-the-century New York


KENNESAW, Ga. (Feb 28, 2019) — The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies will present “Ragtime,” based on E.L. Doctorow’s distinguished 1975 novel, from March 14 to 24 at the Stillwell Theater at Kennesaw State University.

“Ragtime” features a large and intricate set from professor Ming Chen, video and image design by Andre Allen of Blacklight Productions, and choreography by Angela Harris of Dance Canvas. With its beautiful era-specific costumes and a live orchestra, this will be an event you do not want to miss. 

Musical theatre professor and director Amanda Wansa Morgan said, “The music is lush and full of different styles, and the characters are rich. This production has an amazing cast of 40 actors from our department who represent diverse ethnic backgrounds.”

 Combining historical figures—including Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, and Booker T. Washington—with fictional characters, “Ragtime” uses diverse musical styles to weave together stories of volatile turn-of-the century New York from three different perspectives: African Americans in Harlem, immigrants from Eastern Europe, and the upper-class suburban white residents of New Rochelle, N.Y. Together, these characters confront and explore what it means to live and fight for fairness and social justice in America.

Filled with historical information and context, “Ragtime” provokes serious questions around themes of race in America, justice, imprisonment and liberation, suppression, industrialization, integration and segregation, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

“Ragtime” was called “a triumph for the stage” by TIME and “the best musical in 20 years” by the International Herald Tribune when it premiered on Broadway in 1998. Winner of four Tony Awards, the original cast featured Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Marin Mazzie.