'Walking Towards America' returns to the Open Eye

The world premiere production of “Walking Toward America” by Sandra Fenischel Asher returns to The Open Eye Theater in Margaretville for evening performances Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 1-3 at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee on November 4 at 3 p.m.

Patricia Van Tassel stars in this one-woman show based on the memoirs of Ilga Katais Vise, who fled with her family from their beloved Latvia during World War II. Traditional Latvian music is performed by Cedric and Curtis Taylor.

In addition to the evening and weekend performances, there will be school day matinees at noon on Tuesday October 30, Monday, November 5, and Thursday, November 8.

Bringing it back
In making the announcement, theater trustee Dr. Elizabeth Sherr said, “After the very successful performances last spring, starting Memorial Day weekend and running through June 3, we are bringing back this true story of a family’s escape from Latvia. Audiences loved the show and urged us to make it available again this fall.

“Near the end of World War II, Latvia was occupied by Nazi Germany and at the same time was being invaded by Communist Russia. In this less known saga of Eastern Europe, hundreds of thousands of families left their beloved cities and farms and headed West. The story of their 500-mile trek on foot is filled with danger and hardship, and yet courage, warmth and even humor shines through. The family spent time in a forced labor camp, in a UN refugee camp, and endured an Atlantic storm on a former troop ship en route to New York Harbor. “Walking Toward America” is especially suited for our theater, where the audience is intimately close to the actors,” said Dr. Sherr.

Open Eye star Patricia Van Tassel portrays Ilga Katais at ages four, 10, and 16, as well as her parents and relatives, various fellow refugees and German military personnel—more than 30 characters in all—in this tour de force.

Songs of Latvia
Violinists Cedric and Curtis Taylor provide songs of Latvia, where music and singing is a remarkable part of national culture. The play was directed by Open Eye Theater producing artistic director Amie Brockway. For more information and a video trailer from the show, see the theater website: theopeneye.org.

Admission to the theatre at 960 Main Street in Margaretville is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 dollars for youths up to age 25. Dinner and theater arrangements for premium reserved seats and a special dinner menu (brunch or dinner on Sundays) are at Binnekill Square Restaurant, Hanah Resort, The Inn Between, and Summerfields. For reservations call 845 586-1660, e-mail openeye@catskill.net, or call your choice of the restaurants.