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BankFive

The Lepers of Penikese

by Raymond P. Veary, Jr. ; Directed by Edward J. Maguire
  • Oct 7-8, 2011, 8:00 PM;
  • Oct 9, 2011, 2:30 PM

A new play by New Bedford resident Ray Veary inaugurates Your Theatre, Inc.'s 65th Season "New Works Staged Reading Series". This is a program supported in part by a grant from the New Bedford, Fairhaven and Dartmouth Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

The play focuses on Penikese Island and the lepers' treatment facility there from 1905-1921. The story of that multi-ethnic community is seen through the eyes of Archie Thomas, a bright, seventeen-year old high school student from Upton, Massachusetts, who when diagnosed with leprosy is quarantined and told he must be sent to Penikese. His widowed mother, having no other family, demands that she be permitted to go with him. Archie, both character and narrator, builds and operates his own wireless telegraph, linking this small group of leprosy patients to the outside world.