For its first production following the sold-out run of Katori Hall's Children of Killers, the Castillo Theatre will premiere Demonstration 2013, a multi-media performance piece written by artistic director Dan Friedman that will run for seven performances (February 23, 24 and March 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10) at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.
Under the direction of David Nackman, Demonstration 2013 incorporates song, poetry, historical speech, documentary footage, oral history and Castillo's repertoire of theatrical productions to creatively examine the culture and politics that have grown out of the movements of the 1960s. A montage of scenes and songs, the play is something of a family photo album, telling stories of the activists who have helped build Castillo and the unique independent performance community from which Castillo has emerged and helped to shape over the last four decades.
Demonstration 2013 has roots in the epic theatre of Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht, and, more directly, draws its inspiration from three previous "Demonstration" pieces conceived of by the late FrEd Newman, who served as Castillo's artistic director and playwright-in-residence from 1989 to 2005.
The cast is composed of seasoned stage performers working side-by-side with Castillo volunteers and community activists, as well as recent graduates of the Youth Onstage! Community Performance School (Castillo's youth theatre). The production is anchored by Ava Jenkins, winner of the 2012 AUDELCO "Viv" Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Sally Hemings in the Castillo production of Sally and Tom (The American Way) by FrEd Newman and Annie Roboff. Director David Nackman, a veteran of the Broadway stage, has appeared in scores of Castillo productions and is the director of its musical improv comedy troupe, the Proverbial Loons.
The Castillo Theatre (Dan Friedman, artistic director, Diane Stiles, managing director) is located at 543 West 42nd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. Performances are selected Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m., February 23, 24, March 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10. Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased through the Castillo Box Office at 212-941-1234 or at www.castillo.org.