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'New Colossus,' the Actors' Gang tale of immigrant struggle, extends its run

'New Colossus,' the Actors' Gang tale of immigrant struggle, extends its run
The Actors' Gang production of "The New Colossus" combines the experiences of immigrants from different countries, all trying to find a better life in the States. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

“The New Colossus,” the Actors’ Gang production centered on the stories of immigrants coming to America, has been extended through May 12.

Directed and co-written by Tim Robbins, the company’s founding director, “Colossus” had been scheduled to end last week. But the show has been drawing a capacity audience since opening in February, the company said.

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Twelve troupe members portray ancestors and friends who fled oppression — in Nazi Germany, drug-cartel-torn Mexico, modern-day Turkey and other countries — for the beacon of freedom promised by America. The title comes from the 1883 poem by Emma Lazarus posted on the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Times critic Charles McNulty gave the play a mixed review, noting its power in our current moment but arguing that the cultural context “is more stirring than the work itself. The stage effect of this kaleidoscope of bedraggled bodies is powerful at points but also a little monotonous.”

The Actors’ Gang did not provide box office numbers for its 99-seat theater inside the Ivy Substation in Culver City. The company did say it has received interest in touring the play outside the U.S. and hopes to take its story to Chile and Italy.

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