“My American Dream started in 1956 when I came from Italy to the United States. I was two years old. My uncle lived in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland and he sponsored our entry to the US and helped my father secure his first job in a copper smelting plant. It was easy to adjust to the American culture at such a young age, but also because living in Little Italy where everyone spoke Italian and Italian stores lined the streets. Once I began school, I had to learn the English language very quickly. Watching TV became a way to learn English more effectively. So, my American dream began with a TV set!

My experience in those early years was very insular and very much tied to the Italian culture, which revolved around food, family, community and the Church. This is what I believe the American Dream to be: maintaining your ancestry and culture while embracing your new surroundings in a new country. I believe bringing these traditions to America have allowed it to become the assortment of cultures that makes it unique.” –Joe Marinucci, President & CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance

Explore the concept of the “pursuit of happiness” and be a part of the live studio audience of American Dreams, where you will decide which of three contestants will receive the ultimate prize: citizenship in “the greatest nation on Earth.” Now playing through March 3 at Cleveland Public Theatre.