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2008-2009 Season Statement


This year the Castillo Theatre is celebrating 25 years of creating a new kind of political theatre and a new kind of community theatre. At Castillo, play is the thing.

What’s “new” about Castillo isn’t just our plays — although most of them are original scripts written by Fred Newman, young people from New York City’s communities, and many others. And what’s “political” about Castillo isn’t just the content of our plays — although the values we present are progressive and humane, and the spirit of our productions is curious and challenging. No, in the most profound sense, what’s “new” and what’s “political” about Castillo’s quarter century of activity are the bridges we’ve built between our stage and your street.

Castillo Theatre is part of the All Stars Project of New York (ASP of NY), and we’ve never simply been about putting on a show and selling tickets. Our plays here on West 42nd Street are just one aspect of the play being generated all over the city by the All Stars Project. We play on street corners, over the phone and in corporate boardrooms as we raise money from supporters. We play with hip-hop through the All Stars Talent Show Network in high school auditoriums from East New York to Far Rockaway to the Bronx. Young people, business executives and cultural producers play together and learn new performances through the Development School for Youth and Production of Youth by Youth. And while all these performances are going on around the city, here at the All Stars Project’s 42nd Street Performing Arts and Development Center, just down the block from Disney and the rest of Broadway’s extravaganzas, we — young people from poor and working-class communities, theatre artists, business professionals, community activists and volunteers of all backgrounds — play with philosophical and political ideas on four beautiful stages through the work of the Castillo Theatre and Youth Onstage!

Why is play the thing? Because it is through play and performance that individuals and communities develop. When we develop, we can learn things we couldn’t learn before, and we can create new ways of seeing and organizing ourselves and our world. And that’s what we mean when we call Castillo a new kind of political theatre.

Thank you for being a part of our 25th Season. And let’s keep playing together!