THE MELTING POT, a play with music
St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Albany, CA
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THE MELTING POT, a play with music
Staged reading of THE MELTING POT, a play with music
by Carol S. Lashof, with music by Erika Oba

Will the United States offer a welcome to refugees from all nations? It's a vexed question now, and it was a vexed question in 1908 when Israel Zangwill's The Melting Pot premiered in Washington D.C.

The Melting Pot, a play with music, is a revisiting and framing of a melodrama of the same name, written by British author Israel Zangwill in 1908. At the time, the United States was embroiled in a bitter dispute over immigration. Nativists warned that a flood of new immigrantsRussian, Italian, and most dangerous of all, Jewishposed an existential threat to American identity, while liberals fought to further the ideal - unrealized then and now - of America as a haven for all races and cultures. Zangwill leapt into this fray with The Melting Pot, celebrating the metaphor of its title; and both the wildly popular play and the metaphor were seized upon as powerful weapons by those fighting to keep borders open to immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Lashof's current play distills the immigrant love story at the heart of the original melodrama and interweaves it with the story of Zangwills play itself, and its role in Americas early twentieth-century culture wars. This play premiered with Everyday Inferno Theatre Company in New York City in 2018. The current script has been revised since its original production.

The Melting Pot will be directed by Susannah Martin and will feature the debut performance of an original score by Berkeley composer Erika Oba.

All audience members are required to wear masks and present proof of full vaccination, including boosters.

This script has been composed by interweaving voices from the United States culture wars of the early twentieth century. In particular, the core of the present play is an adaptation/ distillation of Israel Zangwills immensely successful 1908 melodrama The Melting Pot, which introduced its central metaphor to popular discourse about Americas national identity.


Nurse - Elaine Magree
David - Caleb Cabrera
Vera - Bianca Catalan
Mendel/Chorus - Sedrick Cabrera
Frau Quixano/Chorus - Michelle Talgarow*
Kathleen/Chorus - Anne Hallinan
Quincy/Chorus - Max Forman-Mullin*
Baron/Chorus - Kal Naga (Khaled Abol Naga)*

*Member, Actors Equity Association

Carolyn Walter, clarinet
Erika Oba, piano
Christina Walton, violin
Andrea Landin, cello

Production Team/ Artistic Leadership
Susannah Martin, director
Erika Oba, composer & music director
Carol Lashof, playwright & co-producer
Kit Lanthier, stage manager
Julie Sarabia, covid safety manager
Elizabeth Vega, co-producer

Dramaturgical support from Cristina (Cha) Ramos.


St. Alban's Episcopal Church (View)
1501 Washington
Albany, CA 94706
United States


Arts > Theatre
Music > Americana

Minimum Age: 12
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Wheelchair accessible. Fully vaccinated company, well-ventilated venue.