Boyer’s ELLIS ISLAND to be filmed for broadcast on Great Performances

WNET. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

Peter Boyer’s Grammy-nominated work Ellis Island: The Dream of America will be produced as a program for PBS’ Great Performances, America’s preeminent performing arts television series, with Pacific Symphony.

The Ellis Island performances with Pacific Symphony, conducted by Music Director Carl St.Clair, on April 7th and 8th, 2017 at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, from their annual American Composers Festival, will be filmed for a national broadcast debut on PBS’ Great Performances in the 2017-18 season, with subsequent broadcasts planned over the next three years.

The actors will be:

• Tony Award-winning Barry Bostwick (“Spin City,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the original Broadway “Grease”)
• Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Camryn Manheim (“The Practice,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Elvis”)
• Michael Nouri (“Flashdance,” “The Proposal,” “Finding Forrester,” “Damages”)
• Lesley Fera (“Pretty Little Liars,” “24,” “CSI: Miami”)
• Samantha Sloyan (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Hush”)
• Lucas Near-Verbrugghe (“Our Idiot Brother,” “Lazy Eye”)
• Kira Sternbach (“Neighbors,” “My Normal”)

Each of these actors will read the words from one of the real American immigrant stories which Boyer adapted from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. All the actors will participate in the reading of “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus (“Give me your tired, your poor…”), the sonnet associated with the Statue of Liberty, which serves as the work’s Epilogue.

The producer of Ellis Island on Great Performances is John Walker, who has received fourteen Emmy nominations and two Emmy wins for his remarkable body of work. The director is Matthew Diamond, whose directing credits range from The Metropolitan Opera HD Live to The Wiz Live. The recording engineer will be Shawn Murphy, renowned for his work for composers such as John Williams and James Newton Howard.

Orchestras included in PBS’ Great Performances series in recent seasons have included some of the world’s finest: The New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic (their John Williams tribute), and Vienna Philharmonic. With this filming and later broadcast of Boyer’s Ellis Island, Pacific Symphony joins this elite company. This will be the first-ever national television broadcast from the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

Read The Orange County Register’s feature on Peter Boyer and Ellis Island.