Members of Theatre Tulsa’s 2017 production of the musical “Ragtime” came together to present a special performance of the song “ ’Til We Reach That Day” as a statement about racial unity.

The video was posted Monday to Theatre Tulsa’s Facebook page and was a collaborative effort involving Theatre Tulsa, the Orbit Initiative and World Stage Theatre.

The post said this performance was hoped to be a “model of what it looks like when a few companies of our theatre commUNITY come together to say, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ by doing what we do best — (sharing) our emotions and (telling) our stories through performance.

“The words of ‘Til We Reach That Day’ are so relevant to what’s happening right now all around us,” the post continues. “We know this won’t save the world, but coming together, even for just a musical moment (is) how we begin to make changes in our own world. We hope you enjoy it and as you listen to the words, we hope you will be moved to action.”

“Ragtime,” written by Stephen Flaherty, Terrance McNally and Lynn Ahrens, and based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, is the story of three American families around the turn of the 20th century, who are confronted with unexpected, seismic challenges to the way they believe the world should work.

When the show debuted in 2017, the Tulsa World wrote that the musical was “almost uncomfortably contemporary,” dealing with “all the things that we as a country seem doomed to repeat, in spite of the best efforts of our better angels.

“It is a musical that gives us another way to look at ideas and actions that show America at its best and at its worst,” the review said, “that makes us realize we still as a country have a long way to go to be the people we know we can be.”

The video is also dedicated to the memory of Aubrianna Mason, a member of the “Ragtime” cast who died in December 2019.

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James D. Watts Jr.



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