Parade at the Seymour

February 22, 2018 by Arts Editor
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Performing in Sydney for the first time in 10 years, The Sydney University Musical Theatre Ensemble [MUSE] will  present the Jewish themed PARADE, coming to the Seymour Centre this March with a limited run of four performances.

Written by the acclaimed Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry and directed by Hayden Tonazzi, this Tony-award winning show doesn’t come around often – but when it does, it’s one too important to miss.

Based on the true events that inspired the formation of the Anti-Defamation League, PARADE tells the story of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man struggling to adjust to life in the American South, who finds himself blamed for the murder of a young girl. What follows is a harrowing story of prejudice and injustice as Frank is put on trial by the people of Atlanta, Georgia not only for murder, but for the faith that sets him apart.

Lali Gill, who plays Monteen – a fellow factory worker and friend of the victim – describes the show as an important connection to her own faith. “For me as a Jewish woman it strikes a certain chord emotionally. PARADE not only explores what it feels like the be the ‘odd Jew out’ – it also asks us; what does it mean to be Jewish? We get an insight into Judaism in regard to identity, both individually and within a community.”

Under Tonazzi’s direction, this production breaks from the typical mould. “It is not uncommon for productions of PARADE to portray Leo Frank as an entirely innocent man who becomes a product of an ugly town full of hate” says Tonazzi. His vision for the show is less on the question of Frank’s innocence, and more on crimes against identity, making the audience “aware of the individual, and how individuality should be valued rather than become the reason for someone’s demise”.

PARADE tells a moving tale of fear, hope and ultimately love, reminding us all of the very real dangers of a community filled with bigotry and hatred. With over 75 people involved in this iconic show, MUSE’s PARADE is set to be the biggest production in this society’s history. Performances will take place in the Everest Theatre, Seymour Centre, March 21-24. Tickets can be purchased online, via phone, or in person over the box office counter.

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