A Good Farmer at the Bank Street Theatre

3Graces Theater Co presents A Good Farmer, by Sharyn Rothstein, directed by Matthew Arbour, at the Bank Street Theatre from 25 Sep - 20 Oct 2007.

A Good Farmer: The story of the unexpected family formed by a woman farmer with her farmhand, a female immigrant from Mexico.

In a statement playwright Sharyn Rothstein said of her play �Each of the key characters had something they were trying to overcome and for all of them the key to overcoming it was to carry on as if the problem didn�t really exist. I realized through the play that talking about your problems is a luxury that a lot of people in the United States really don�t have.�

�I wanted to write a play with a very smart, very strong woman at its center. In December, I stumbled on an article in The New York Times about a small farming town in upstate New York, where increased I.C.E. (Immigration Customs Enforcement) raids had created a culture of fear in the community, and were turning neighbors against each other. There were a few paragraphs about a small family-run farm where seven illegal workers were detained and offered lesser sentences if they told officials that their employers were aware of their illegal status � but the workers refused. I thought: what ties must these workers have to their employer that they would protect the employer at their own peril? As a bonus, the article mentioned a sign that you pass on your way into this small town. It reads: �Welcome to Elba. Population 2,639. Just Right.� �

The article prompted Sharyn to visit Elba and get a feel for the town and its people. While there, she visited the Batavia Detention Center to see first hand what her characters were experiencing.

Originally published on

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