Young Wauwatosa Resident Performs in First Stage World Premiere

Jan. 26, 2013

Nora Laughlin, 9, of Wauwatosa will appear in First Stage’s world premiere play TO THE PROMISED LAND playing at the Todd Wehr Theater at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts January 25 through February 10.

Set in late 1960s Milwaukee, the play seamlessly weaves together the story of Ruth, a young African-American girl reeling from the loss of her brother during recent Civil Rights actions, and that of Golda Meir, Israel’s first female prime minister, who had spent her formative years in Milwaukee. As Ruth draws on Golda Meir’s autobiography for inspiration a story between Milwaukee’s African-American and Jewish communities is shared as we follow both characters on their path to her own promised land.

After attending theater camps and participating in classes at First Stage, Nora’s role in TO THE PROMISED LAND marks her First Stage debut. She enjoys acting because it lets her express her feelings. “I like the whole process of acting and being with my friends,” she said. From performing in this show, Nora has learned that you have to work hard and concentrate to do well in a play. “I learned how to trust my friends and my director at First Stage,” she added.

“The play is about the journey of a young person searching for truth while struggling with the tests that come with life in an urban setting,” said Director Sheri Williams Pannell. “TO THE PROMISED LAND serves as a catalyst to encourage dialogue about Milwaukee history and witness how one moment in time can impact the life of an impressionable young person,” she continued.

Nora has learned many things from working on this show, but there is one lesson that she likes the most. “Never give up! Keep trying!”

TO THE PROMISED LAND runs through February 10. For more information, visit

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