Open Forum


  • 1.  Ragtime

    Posted 11-30-2018 08:18
    Hello All!

    We are tackling Ragtime this spring.  The students are very excited.  We have already begun discussions about the immigration and racial issues of the show (including the language), and administration is on board.

    Has anyone done this show and what were some things that helped in the dramaturgy, characterization, and or performance?

    From a tech perspective, my biggest concern (and it's important) is the car.  We don't have a huge backstage/wing area.  I was thinking about trying to follow the revival and just do a frame (maybe out of pvc?) and have the ensemble actually put it together during the Henry Ford song, but I'm just not sure.  Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance!

    Justin Indovina
    Director/Dept. Chair
    Brooklyn NY

  • 2.  RE: Ragtime

    Posted 11-30-2018 10:34
    It's a great show and I am jealous that you're able to do it!

    I don't have any suggestions to add, but if you're not aware of it, you may want to google the Cherry Hill High School East production of Ragtime - there was a controversy over their use of the N word in the production. From what I could tell, the director and students were very sensitive in handling the issue during rehearsals - it was more the community response.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 3.  RE: Ragtime

    Posted 12-01-2018 09:49
    Hi, Justin.
    I was the costumer for the national Thespian cast production of Ragtime when it was mounted in 2005.  The car was created by using parts only that were held in place by several of the actors.  When the car was destroyed, the actors bent and controted to create the demolished car.  I have included a couple of pictures below to give you the idea of what was done.  In a way it symbolized the hatred for the blacks.

    I wish I could advise you on how to handle the language.  A lot of it depends on your community and how they view these issues.  Perhaps a program note gently reminding audience members that this is a "historical" re-enactment would help.

    Hope this helps.  You can see other pictures from the production on my Facebook page in the albums section.

    Best wishes.

    Terry McGonigle
    John Legend Theater
    Springfield OH

  • 4.  RE: Ragtime

    Posted 12-01-2018 13:07
    We're doing On The Town this year and need a taxi.  I'm planning to find a couple of seats from a junk yard, a stearing wheel and mount them on a dollie.  THEN, we'll add a cardboard cut out of a taxi.  I might go old school and have stage hands on either side pulling the unit from side to side. Ours is comedy though.  I'm not sure about the car context in Ragtime.
    Old Saybrook High School

    Lenore Grunko
    Deep River CT

  • 5.  RE: Ragtime

    Posted 12-01-2018 19:57
    I've done the show and included the "n" word with no problem. The Model T my tech people built from scratch is now available for rent from

    Good luck with the show.  It's a powerful piece.

    David Kramer
    Mt Sinai NY