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Waiting for a New America

The Castillo Theatre’s 30th season begins with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. In a co-production with the New Yiddish Repertory Theatre, this modern classic of desolation and absurdity is performed, for the first time ever, in the all but lost language of Yiddish. Godot’s director, Moshe Yassur, says that waiting is an act of hope. After all, if we didn’t hope, why would we wait?

Castillo grows out of an activist tradition and produces postmodern political theatre. Like most of the world, we are waiting with hope for a new America. At the same time, we see our work, and theatre in general, as a way to “play” with the world as we shape it — to explore its history, its agonizing failures, and its human resilience. Our 2013-’14 theatre season tells that story.

  • Stealin’ Home, by Castillo’s late artistic director and playwright-in-residence, Fred Newman, plays with another side of Jackie Robinson. Directed by Charles Weldon, artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, the play explores (and explodes) Jackie the icon with its portrayal of the toll it took on him and on Black America as he broke the color line in baseball.
  • Our friends at the New Federal Theatre are honoring Ed Bullins, a pioneer of the Black theatre movement, with two productions. In the Wine Time, directed by Mansoor Najee-ullah, and The Fabulous Miss Marie, directed by Woodie King, Jr., look with unblinking eyes at the destructive impact of poverty and exclusion on the Black poor in the 1950s and ’60s and beyond.
  • Dr. DuBois and Miss Ovington by Clare Coss, a New Federal Theatre production in association with Castillo, is directed by Castillo’s AUDELCO Award-winning Gabrielle L. Kurlander. This play explores the early days of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest civil rights organization, the political, personal and sexual tensions between these Black and white progressives, and how these conflicts still echo in America today.
  • Dan Friedman’s Dunkin’ (A Love Story in 24 Conversations) follows a group of young, contemporary, working-class New Yorkers as they struggle to help one another grow and love amid the poverty and brutality of their neighborhoods.
  • And as always, Castillo invests in the creative power of young performers this season, with a youth workshop production.

When you mix these shows up with the Proverbial Loons, Castillo’s resident musical improv comedy troupe, and the All Stars Talent Show Network’s hip-hop shows in our communities, you get the signature Castillo mash-up. So while we wait and hope for a new America, we’re creating — and playing with — what’s possible. Thank you for joining us!