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  In To America at The Den Theatre

In To America

The Den Theatre
1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Chicago

IN TO AMERICA is a world premiere drama that traces the American immigrant experience from Jamestown to present day through the stories of ordinary men, women and children who departed their homelands in the hopes of creating a new life. An extraordinary story 400 years in the making that transcends time, space and race to reflect the diversity and commonalities of our shared American experience.

Presented by Griffin Theatre Company

Thru - Apr 23, 2017

Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 7:30pm
Saturdays: 7:30pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $36

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 866-811-4111

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins

  In To America Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...In one of the more evocative sections, India-born novelist and teacher Anita Desai describes the immigrant psyche as "driftwood" - cast between two worlds where one never quite touches land and takes root. "In To America," at its best, reminds us of how much our national foundation rests on that driftwood, and how much we all owe people who, despite sometimes horrific discrimination, refused to allow themselves to be pushed aside or erased from history."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Drawn from letters, diaries, oral histories and biographies, the work - featuring a richly diverse and skillful cast of 13 under the direction of Dorothy Milne - unspools in less than two hours. That is an impressive act of condensation, to say the least, yet the show is unquestionably wide-ranging. And its message rings out loudly and clearly: Immigration, the very life blood of this country from the start, has never been entirely free, fair or easy. And while "hope," "opportunity" and "freedom" have long been the buzzwords driving it, opportunism, ambivalence, discrimination and cruelty must be appended to that list."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...The monologues also chronicle the movement of people across the nation-the westward expansion of white settlers into land taken from native inhabitants by war or trickery, the Great Migration of southern blacks to the urban north in the 1910s. These are stories of hardship and heartbreak, but also of the thrill of discovery and, for some, the exaltation of freedom from oppression. Under Dorothy Milne's direction, each of the excellent 13 actors plays multiple roles, representing an astonishing range of ethnic backgrounds with emotional authenticity and pinpoint-precise accents."
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Albert Williams

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Perhaps the greatest strength of In to America's unwieldy scope is the way it serves to illustrate that our country has always been an exercise in contradictions. From the earliest European migrants' sneering descriptions of the "savage" native population to the disgrace of the slave trade to the shameful treatment of a succession of ethnicities-Irish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese-In to America reminds that those in power have always found groups of "others" to demonize and dehumanize. For a so-called nation of immigrants, our xenophobia is a seemingly permanent condition always in search of new targets; it takes a scant few generations for the privilege of citizenship to harden into a God-given right to be denied to others."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...In To America is a fitting tribute to the spirit of what it really means to be an American. It is a reminder that our strength as a country comes from the toughness and willingness to sacrifice and assimilate into a special country...based in "unalienable Rights' of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.""
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Tom Williams

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...William Massolia’s scholarly and stimulating presentation of the history, pain, joys and sorrows of the American immigration experience is moving, sometimes exciting and occasionally peppered with humor. The vast number of people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds who the audience will come to know is impressive, often overwhelming but never boring. From the prehistoric people who crossed the land bridge to reach this continent, to the many peoples who fled to these shores because of religious persecution or to secure a better way of life; from the thousands of men, women and children brought to America against their will, then bought and sold as property, to those with no hope for any kind of life other than to indenture themselves into servitude, this is an educational and entertaining evening of theatre."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...In to America, the world premiere production by Griffin Theatre, is America's origin story, a documentary-style production that tells our history of immigration and multiculturalism, in all its glorious and cruel aspects."
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Nancy Bishop

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...With so many stories by people from all over Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, each audience member is sure to hear at least a few that resonate strongly with them. It is also nearly assured that even students of American history-for whom this show is a must-see-will learn something new. We hear about the Bhagat Singh Thind case at the Supreme Court, Know Nothing anger at Irish and German/Dutch low-skilled workers for driving down wages, and Mexicans fleeing massacres during their revolution. It becomes apparent that not only are there parallels in the past to the present day, but that the exact same conversations have been going on with the exact same talking points for centuries. As touching and entertaining as all the actors are, perhaps the most important function of this play is simply to create a better-informed civic discourse."
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Jacob Davis

  In To America Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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