Kate Futoransky, 16, of Hartland, Wisconsin will appear in First Stage’s world premiere play TO THE PROMISED LAND playing at the Todd Wehr Theater at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts January 25 through February 10.
Set in late 1960s Milwaukee, the play seamlessly weaves together the story of Ruth, a young African-American girl reeling from the loss of her brother during recent Civil Rights actions, and that of Golda Meir, Israel’s first female prime minister, who had spent her formative years in Milwaukee. As Ruth draws on Golda Meir’s autobiography for inspiration a story between Milwaukee’s African-American and Jewish communities is shared as we follow both characters on their path to her own promised land.
Kate has been involved in theater and First Stage since the third grade. She enjoys acting because it is a great way to express yourself and learn. “It is always interesting to me to look within a character and think ‘Why is she saying this?’ or ‘Why should she do this?’ I love entertaining people with something educational and interesting and being able to be a different person on stage,” she said. Some of Kate’s past shows at First Stage include ROMEO AND JULIET, INTO THE WOODS, and WINTERS’ TALE. Shows outside of First Stage include ALICE IN WONDERLAND and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Kate shared that her favorite role was Old Shepherd in WINTER’S TALE because not only was it a fun character to play, but it was also one of her first big roles.
Kate says it doesn’t matter if you are 8 or 18, but at First Stage, the teachers and students are so nice to each other and open to being friends. “You never have to be ashamed with who you are. Everyone is nice and you learn how to be yourself,” she said. “Not only have I learned a lot about theater, but I also have learned a lot about how to be yourself and how to treat other people.”
“The play is about the journey of a young person searching for truth while struggling with the tests that come with life in an urban setting,” said Director Sheri Williams Pannell. “TO THE PROMISED LAND serves as a catalyst to encourage dialogue about Milwaukee history and
witness how one moment in time can impact the life of an impressionable young person,” she continued.
Kate has learned many lessons from TO THE PROMISED LAND, but the best lesson is to never give up. “If you want change, you can’t just sit around and wait for it, you need to be the one to stand up and change it for yourself,” said Kate.
TO THE PROMISED LAND runs through February 10. For more information, visit www.FirstStage.org.
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