Telling 400 Years of Immigrants’ Stories, In Their Own Words

Mar 20, 2017 447

Early last year, as anti-immigrant rhetoric intensified during the presidential campaign, William Massolia, the Griffin Theatre Company’s artistic director, thought of his own family’s past. All four of his grandparents came from Italy speaking very little English.

Massolia started sleuthing. He dug up his paternal grandparents’ marriage certificate and his paternal grandfather’s World War I draft card. And he learned something no one in his family knew: His father’s father had never become a U.S. citizen. “When you find out your grandparent was an illegal alien, you start to think about what that means,” Massolia says.

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