212.302.5200
tours@trc.nyc
The New Colossus

12 refugees. 12 languages. 12 eras. 1 border

THE NEW COLOSSUS tells the true stories of twelve people who are here today because their families fled from constant struggle for survival and moved toward safety and freedom throughout the last 300 years. Through this intensely physical production, a group of actors from all over the world are telling their ancestors' stories in twelve different eras, all woven into a single narrative about escaping an oppressive homeland, drawn to the beacon above Ellis Island. Performed in twelve languages with live music, poetry, and kinetic movement, the play concludes with a question – who are we as a nation?

Set between 1868 and today, THE NEW COLOSSUS is an homage to the strength, resilience, and dignity of the immigrants and refugees who left their homes behind and risked their lives to find a better life. Director Tim Robbins states, “The Actors’ Gang felt compelled to respond to the government’s anti-refugee and anti-immigration policies – and to tell a story that draws attention to the true nature of people who live in this country. Save for the Native Americans, all of our families came here as refugees, immigrants or slaves. The characters in the piece all seem different, from different parts of the world, traveling at different times – but the stories are remarkably the same: the common experience of all refugees is that they are fleeing some kind of oppression seeking safety anywhere they can find it. Our hope is that we will be able to illuminate the courage and fortitude of all refugees, and, perhaps, our own families.”


“At a time when history is being warped by demagoguery, THE NEW COLOSSUS holds a theatrical mirror to the nation.”
— Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

“Fascinating … a moving, indelibly affecting performance.”
— Travis Michael Holder, TicketHoldersLA.com

“Over and over, the production defies expectations. It’s never sentimental, but instead crackles with urgency and tension.”
— Paul Birchall, Stage Raw

“A performance art piece with the vital message of inclusion.”
— Gil Kaan, Broadwayworld.com

“Stunning, powerful and touching in its humanity and its beauty. I was blown away.”
— Danny Glover