Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Theater for the New City Presents World Premiere of BARABBAS

Theater for the New City Presents World Premiere of BARABBAS

Theater for the New City, the Pulitzer Prize winning community cultural center that produces over thirty premieres of new American plays each year, is pleased to announce the world premiere of Will T.F. Carter's new play Barabbas, directed by Eduardo Machado.

Barabbas will begin previews Thursday June 20th at 8 PM, with Opening Night set for June 27th at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets). This limited Off-Broadway engagement continues through July 14th only.

The cast features Gypsi Aponte, Mateo d'Amato, Nikki Valdez, and Anwar Wolf. The creative team for Barabbas includes Mark Marcante (scenic design), Alex Bartenieff (lighting design), Kat Anick-Jenkins (costume design), and David Margolin Lawson (sound design). Daniel Benhamu will serve as Fight Choreographer.

Barabbas is based on the literary figure, of the same name, mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible in which he is a "notorious prisoner" who was chosen by the crowd, over Jesus Christ, to be released in a customary pardon before the feast of Passover. This play adapts this classic parable to the stage set in a 2021 Lima, Peru prison cell in which BARA, a bright young lawyer who has been accepting bribes, is thrown into prison with another political criminal and whistleblower, Jesús. In this five character play Bara and Jesús debate morality and nationalism while subjected to "mother Peru's" harsh prison conditions. The play eerily mirrors political criminality happening all over the world drawing parallels to corruption in Latin America and the United States.

"Not since Richard Nelson's Principia Scriptoriae have I seen a play written by an American that has a neutral and yet passionate view of Latin American politics. Mr. Will has found an objective center to the Latin American male psyche," said Mr. Macado.

Will T.F. Carter is a writer and translator from Portland, Maine. He's a graduate of the Eugene Lang creative writing program in New York City and his work has appeared in the Ezra Journal of Translation, The Laurel Review, and Eleven-and-a-half. The short film, Zapatos, which he co-wrote and produced, was an official selection for the HBO Latino Film Festival and the San Francisco Latino Film Festival. Barabbas is his first work for the stage.

Eduardo Machado has directed many plays among them Artfuckers by Michael Domitrovich at Theater for the New City and Daryl Roth Theater, Sixty Minutes in Negroland written & performed by Margo Jefferson at The Culture Project, Beautiful Senoritas at The Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles and In the Land of Giants by Roger Durling and All Eyes and Ears by Rogelio Martinez for INTAR on Theatre Row; he also directed Mr. Martinez's They Still Mambo In Havana at the Flea Theatre. He has directed his own work at Theater for the New City among them, Rosario and The Gypsies, Paula, Crocodile Eyes, and Related Retreats. Mr. Machado wrote and directed the film Exiles in New York, which played at the AFI Film Festival, South by South West, Santa Barbara Film Festival and Latin American International Film Festival in Havana Cuba. He is the author of over forty plays including The Floating Island Plays, Once Removed, Stevie Wants to Play the Blues, A Burning Beach, Crocodile Eyes, Havana Is Waiting, and The Cook. They have been produced at many major regional theaters, as well as in Europe and Off-Broadway, including among others The Actors Theater of Louisville, The Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Hartford Stage, The Long Wharf Theater, The Williamstown Theater Festival, The Cherry Lane Theater, INTAR, Theater for the New City, America Place Theater. His plays have been produced in Europe and South America. Mr. Machado was the head of playwriting at Columbia University and at the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His plays are published by Theatre Communications Group and Samuel French. Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home, a food memoir by Eduardo Machado and Michael Domitrovich, was released by Gotham Press in 2007. Upcoming: the world premiere of Celia and Fidelfrom February 28 - April 12, 2020 at Arena Stage. T.V. Credits include: "Hung," Executive Story Editor, HBO; "Magic City," Executive Story Editor, Starz; "Havana Quartet," Starz; "Troicana," pilot, Amazon; and more.

Gypsi Aponte decided to move to NYC after a career in the United States Air Force to pursue a career in the fashion industry. However, after picking up a camera to document his work and capture models in his clothing, Aponte moved on to photography and then to filmmaking where he found his current love of being in front of the camera.

Producer Mateo d'Amato, professional actor, co-starring in television shows such as: "Jessica Jones" on Netflix, lead actor in three independent feature films, and various Off and Off-Off Broadway plays; recipient of two downtown New York City theatre awards for best actor, as well as recognition as best ensemble actor at the London Eye International Film Festival. His performances in Eduardo Machado's Mariquitas at Theater for the New City led to his interest in becoming a first time producer for Barabbas, teaming up with director Machado.

Anwar Wolf was born in Manhattan, New York to parents from the Dominican Republic. He is fluent is in English and Spanish. You can see him on TV shows like "High maintenance" season 2 on HBO where he plays Eric, two independent films, one which won an audience award and TV commercials. Anwar has been training in New York for the past few years at HB Studios, The Sedgwick Russell Acting studio and most recently has been with his acting coach Anthony Abeson.

Nikki Valdez is originally from Texas where she received her BFA from the University of Texas in Austin. She has been working and training in New York for the past few years and is very excited to be making her Off-Broadway debut in Barrabas.

Barabbas will be presented at Theater for the New City (155 First Avenue, between 9thand 10th Streets) from June 20th through July 14th. Performances will be Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Sundays at 3pm. Opening night is set for June 27th.

Tickets are $18, and may be purchased by calling 212-254-1109 or online at

Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You