Castillo Theatre Honors Daphne Rubin-Vega, Judith Malina & More 11/7


The Castillo Theatre will hold its 2011 annual gala benefit entitled, WOMEN ONSTAGE, on Monday, November 7th at the All Stars Project, 543 West 42nd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenue) at 6:30 p.m. The gala will recognize and honor four inspirational women of the theatre. Carmen de Lavallade, Gabrielle L. Kurlander, Judith Malina, and Daphne Rubin-Vega have all lived lives of outstanding artistic achievement and have used their achievements to inspire others. Coming from very different social and ethnic backgrounds and areas of the theatre world, and spanning a range of generations, what these four powerful women have in common is their vision of theatre as an opportunity to educate, provoke and organize people to participate in making positive social change.

The Castillo Theatre, a project of the All Stars Project, has been built upon the principles of culture as a tool for growth and change, innovation and independence, an investment in the creative process and community-building. For three decades the Castillo Theatre has produced experimental, socially-engaged theatre, and like the honorees is dedicated not only to making great theatre, but building a better world. Since 1983, Castillo has staged well over 100 productions - from multicultural and avant-garde plays, to musicals and improvisational shows.

Gala tickets can be purchased through the Castillo Box Office at 212-941-1234 or go to

Carmen de Lavallade made her professional debut at the age of seventeen with the Lester Horton Dance Theatre in the title role in Salome. Not long after she debuted as principle dance artist with the Metropolitan Opera, later returning as a choreographer. She has worked with some of the most exciting choreographers in the dance world, from her husband Geoffrey Holder to Alvin Ailey. In the late sixties, de Lavallade joined the Yale Repertory Theater as a teacher and an actor. She received the Clarence Bayfield Award (AEA) for her role of "Emilia" in Othello with Earl Hyman. She can be seen in John Sayles' film Lone Star and in Big Daddy starring Adam Sandler. She has performed in River Crosses Rivers festivals in Ruby Dee's Step Mother (2009) and in ReGina Taylor's Post Black (2011).

Gabrielle L. Kurlander, starting her professional career as an actress in the national touring company of Biloxi Blues, has gone on to act in many Castillo productions and has become known for her cutting-edge direction of experimental pieces such as this year's AUDELCO Award-nominated Playing with Heiner Müller. Combining her talents as a performer, director and producer, Gabrielle L. Kurlander has, as president and CEO of the All Stars Project, Inc., brought the chance to perform and develop to tens of thousands of young people in poor minority communities across the country. This season she will direct a revival of the Newman-Roboff musical, Sally & Tom (The American Way), at the Castillo Theatre.

Judith Malina, universally recognized as one the great theatre artists of the 20th (and 21st) centuries, founded the Living Theatre with Julian Beck in 1947. The Living Theatre has, throughout its history, challenged the forms, style and content of the theatre and its relationship with its audience. The Living Theatre has toured extensively and has influenced experimental theatre all over the world. For Malina, her passion for the theatre and her passion for transforming the world are one and the same. Malina has just completed her latest play, The History of the World, which she will direct later this season at the Living Theatre, and her book on her mentor, Erwin Piscator, will be published by Routledge in the spring of 2012.

Daphne Rubin-Vega, born in Panama and raised in New York City, is perhaps best known for the roles she originated, including Mimi in Rent and Conchita in Anna in the Tropics, both Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway shows for which she was nominated for a Tony. Also a singer who has recorded several albums, Rubin-Vega was cast early in her career in the role of Carmencita at Castillo in FrEd Newman's Carmen's Community; she has remained an active supporter of Castillo and its community-based theatre and performance work ever since. She is a founding member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company, which will produce her first musical, Frequently Unanswered Questions, in 2012. She will appear as Stella, opposite Blair Underwood as Stanley, in next year's Broadway revival of A Street Car Named Desire, directed by Emily Mann.


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