Congratulations to the Winners of the 15th Annual
Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre
Pictured left to right in the back row: David Nackman; Mario Fratti; Mia Yoo; Melissa Denton; Richard Morgan; Dan Friedman; Gabrielle L. Kurlander; A. Dean Irby; David Henry Hwang; Diane Stiles; Ben Cameron; Michelle Preston; Antoine Joyce. In front, with honorees in bold: Sally Fairman, The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company; Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel, Muriel Miguel, Spiderwoman Theater; Richard Wesley; Megan Wanlass, SITI Company. Photo by Ronald L. Glassman
The 15th annual awards celebration was held on May 19, 2013 at the Castillo Theatre. This year's awardees are:
Founded in 1976, Spiderwoman is an indigenous woman’s theatre collective that creates environments in which the native, women’s and arts communities come together to examine their social, cultural and political concerns. Spiderwoman has broken new ground in weaving storytelling into theatre and has developed as a powerful international voice for indigenous woman.
Founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki, SITI is dedicated to ensemble building and international cultural exchange and collaboration. One of the most influential experimental theatres in the world, SITI is known for its unique actor training which brings together Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method.
Founded in 1993 in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the Unusual Suspects Theatre Company works with young people in low-income areas of Los Angeles, offering intensive theatre workshops designed to help participants develop self-esteem, communication and coping skills.
Mr. Wesley became a force in the Black Theatre movement with the production of his play Black Terror at the New York Shakespeare Company in 1971, for which he went on to win the Drama Desk Award. In addition to his plays, Wesley has also written numerous screenplays and teleplays. Wesley is currently the chair of the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
About the Otto Awards
The Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre were established in 1998 to recognize and support theatre companies and artists engaged in creating political theatre. Despite increasingly inhibiting social and economic circumstances, there are theatres and theatre artists the world over, in venues large and small, that use their stages and talents to make positive and humane social, political, moral, philosophical and aesthetic statements.
It is our belief that the survival and development of these theatres is vital to the maintenance of a democratic environment in which dissenting views and political options are included in the cultural/political discourse of a society. We also believe that theatre plays an important role in extending humanity’s social imagination by exploring new ways of seeing and performing new and untested possibilities.
Over the past thirteen years, the Ottos have helped to create connections and build a political theatre community of diverse theatres and theatre artists from around the world. We see this as a vital element in the creative process for all involved.
Click on the video below to hear Otto René Castillo's poem, "The Apolitical Intellectuals," performed by the staff and volunteers of the Castillo Theatre.
A video parade of the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre sculptures, designed by Sheila Goloborotko.