Lexie Peterson, 15, of Milwaukee 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.
Lexie has been theatrical all her life, but she has been performing for the last six years. She started with classes through First Stage four years ago and TO THE PROMISED LAND is her first main stage production. Outside of First Stage, past roles include Ado Annie in OKLAHOMA!, Leisl in THE SOUND OF MUSIC and she also performed in SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK LIVE! JR.
Lexie enjoys acting because it allows her to be whoever she wants. “Even if I’m not portraying a character, I can be myself and be accepted by people around me in the theater. As cheesy as it sounds, when I’m on stage, I feel like I’m on top of the world,” she said. Lexie added that when she can relate a beautiful story to an audience, she feels most accomplished. “From participating and performing in shows, I’ve learned the importance of confidence. Before I started performing, I didn’t have the highest self esteem. But, I’ve learned how to satisfy myself before others and if I believe in myself and my art, the audience can experience, rather than critique.”
“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.
“TO THE PROMISED LAND is an intriguing play,” Lexie said. “The show has taught me many lessons. The best though, is to stand up for what you believe in. As one character, Cliff, demonstrates in the play, ‘when you know something is wrong, you gotta make it right.”
TO THE PROMISED LAND runs through February 10. For more information, visit www.FirstStage.org.
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