Agnes Under the Big Top

As much as the United States trumpets our country's multiethnic makeup, even a cursory glance through history shows that each era has singled out certain immigrant groups as less than worthy of sharing the American dream. Even today, hyperventilating arguments over the supposed scourge of "illegals" are unavoidable. All but ignored are the contributions that incoming cultures make to our evolving national identity. This contemporary immigrant experience forms the thematic core of local playwright and director Aditi Brennan Kapil's latest work, Agnes Under the Big Top. Raised by immigrant parents, Kapil has an appreciation for an outsider's perspective that lends an incisive personal view to the work. World premiering at Mixed Blood Theatre, following a series of developmental workshops in places as close as Ely, Minnesota, and as far away as Bulgaria, Agnes Under the Big Top examines the intersecting lives of several new immigrants, each striving to reconcile their native culture with the diversity of their adopted homeland. Navigating the convoluted process of immigration, Kapil's characters tell a modern American tale, one of myriad cultures bonding together to form a community. Disregard the shameless braying of xenophobic fear-mongers; Kapil's work serves as an encouraging reminder that America's finest ideals continue to belong to all. (Photo by Rich Ryan)
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Feb. 18. Continues through March 6, 2011

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