Theater production “(Sacco-Vanzetti) Vince, Al & Teddy” April 2-7

Mar 29, 2013 1854

A new play that examines "otherness" in America through the immigrant experience – and framed against the backdrop of the polarizing Sacco-Vanzetti trial of the 1920s – will have its world premiere as Fitchburg State University's spring theater production.

"(Sacco-Vanzetti) Vince, Al & Teddy," written by Bruce Robinson, will be performed at the Wallace Theater for the Performing Arts at the McKay Complex, 67 Rindge Road. Performances will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 and Wednesday, April 3; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 4 through Saturday, April 6; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Admission is free.

The play, presented by the university's Communications Media and Industrial Technology departments, is directed by faculty member Kelly Morgan.

Set in 1925, "(Sacco-Vanzetti) Vince, Al & Teddy" explores painfully relevant themes. As it does on our time, the shadow of war and political disquiet made fear the atmosphere and personal liberty a luxury. As in our time, anyone too different or foreign caused apprehension.

This two-act play uses the trial of Sacco-Vanzetti as a touchstone and an emblem. It testifies to a time not so long ago when Italians were marginalized – and were deported or executed because of their beliefs. It witnesses a complex family and a young man changing against a dynamic background – of course, all executed in a highly theatrical way.

A talk with scholar Michael Topp will precede the performance at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. Topp will discuss the reverberations from world-wide protests and cultural upheaval surrounding the 1927 execution of the two laborers, provoking anti-Italian, anti-immigrant and anti-anarchist sentiments that still resonate.

A conversation will also follow the final performance on Sunday, April 7, where playwright Bruce Robinson, director Kelly Morgan and regional scholars will reflect on the play's premiere, Robinson's three-week residency and the relevance of the play's issues.

"(Sacco-Vanzetti) Vince, Al & Teddy" is funded in part by the Center for Italian Culture and the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Endowment at Fitchburg State University.

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