National Theater actors granted US visa after all

A Latvian National Theater guest performance at the 16th Latvian Song Festival in Baltimore, Maryland this summer will take place after all, following a turnaround by the US Department of Homeland Security that granted actors visas after repeatedly reviewing their request, say festival organizers.

Organizers on May 4 told the public about the reversal on the festival website, calling it surprising. Organizers express gratitude to Andris Teikmanis, Ambassador of Latvia to the United States of America, for his active involvement in the matter.

The 16th Latvian Song Festival in the US will take place from June 29 to July 3. 

The National Theater will be performing Homeward Bound by Canadian playwright Elliot Hayes for American Latvian audiences on July 1 and July 2.

Additionally, an amateur theater group from San Francisco will be performing a children's classic, Emil and the Detectives that had been intended to replace the cancelled National Theater performance. 

Previously Līga Rimšēviča, a spokesperson for the theater, told Latvian Radio that the National Theater received a six-page letter of visa refusal from the Department of Homeland Security. It allegedly said that the visas weren't granted because the play they were to perform at the festival is not a work of a Latvian author, and therefore the show is not unique enough does not hold any added value.

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