Based on the 1975 E.L. Doctorow novel of the same name, the 1996 musical âRagtimeâ takes place in and around New York City during the first two decades or so of the 20th century.
And yet so many of the issues it explores â womenâs rights, racial justice, immigration and labor rights â remain potent, divisive concerns in 2021.
Which is why Art 4 decided to produce âRagtimeâ now as a virtual work while live performances remain problematic and controversial more than a year into the coronavirus pandemic.
âCOVID-19 was like this microscope that really highlighted a lot of existing issues that we face as Americans, some more than others,â Art 4 Artistic Director Mark Albin says. âWe wanted to meet the moment. â¦ Itâs really a tragedy that we havenât been able to progress further as a society and that weâre continuing to have exhausting conversations.â