Critically acclaimed actor and Ithaca College alumnus Eric Jordan Young ’93 will direct Ithaca College Theatre’s production of “Ragtime,” opening Oct. 30 in the Hoerner Theatre. Young was an ensemble member of the show’s cast during its original run on Broadway in 1998, and later played Booker T. Washington during its 2009 revival.
Based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel and written by Terrence McNally, with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, “Ragtime” won the Tony Award for Best Book and Best Original Score in 1998. The musical explores themes like race and socioeconomic class through the interconnected stories of a resilient white upper-class wife, a hopeful Jewish immigrant, and a bold, black Harlem musician at the dawn of the 20th century. As their paths cross, they begin to discover the complexities of the American Dream and learn about the limits of justice in an era of the famous and the faceless.
“Many of the issues explored in this musical still resonate in our society,” said Young. “Perhaps by listening to the ragtime music of our history we can be inspired to face the era of profound change America finds itself in.”