Act 1 is the first chapter of "A Privileged Past."


The first act of "A Privileged Past" recounts the history of four families – the Allens of Manchester, Massachusetts; the Roomes of New York, New York; the Kruegers of Newark, New Jersey; and the Smiths also of Newark – since their arrival from Europe (the first two in the seventeenth century, the latter two in the nineteenth). These people brought with them distinct ethnic identities, which helped define the communities they joined, and in some cases led, as immigrants to the new world. Their experiences across and by the Atlantic Ocean are captured by this chapter’s prevailing figure of speech, that of smell.