Packed in a gym at Golda Meir School is a group of 7th & 8th graders ready to hear a reading from a new play by First Stage Children’s Theater. “To The Promised Land” is a play that weaves together the story of a young girl who has lost her brother during the Civil Rights movement in Milwaukee in the late 60’s and with that of Golda Meir. The story builds toward the movement that the two characters meet when Golda returns to Fourth Street School to give a speech.
The group of actors consists of both adults and young performers and the reading of “To The Promised Lane” is by playwright, Jonathan Gillard Daly. For the past two years, First Stage has been working alongside actors/playwright Daly to develop this particular script. The reading is a preview of what’s to come next season, when First Stage will turn the script into a full-fledge play for Milwaukee-area residents. It’s known as ‘The Wisconsin Series’, sharing ‘uniquely Wisconsin stories’ through art, culture and history.
Here’s First Stage Artistic Director Jeff Frank and Young Performer Ariana Padovano to explain more.