The Castillo Theatre is opening its 29th season with the American premiere of Children of Killers by award-wining playwright, Katori Hall. Ms. Hall comes to Castillo fresh from the London and Broadway triumphs of The Mountaintop, her play about the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and from the premiere at the Signature Theatre of Hurt Village, a play set in the projects of her hometown of Memphis. The Mountaintop won the Olivier Award for best play in 2010. Hurt Village won the 2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Ms. Hall is pleased that Children of Killers is being presented to Castillo’s diverse audience. Ms. Hall has said, “With its dedication to fierce, thought-provoking political theatre that forces audiences to look into the mirror and question and confront themselves, I knew Castillo Theatre was the perfect home for the first American incarnation of the play.”
Set 15 years after the Rwandan genocide, Children of Killers follows a group of teenage friends as many of their fathers are being released from prison where they have been serving time for their roles in the mass killings of their Tutsi neighbors. How are these innocents — young people who don’t even remember their fathers — going to live with their brutal legacy; is it possible to beyond it, or will they be shaped by their tragic heritage?
Originally commissioned by the National Theatre in London, Children of Killers was inspired by a trip to Rwanda in 2009 where Hall attended a genocide studies conference and spoke with victims and perpetrators of the genocide. The play was developed in part through a workshop conducted by Ms. Hall and National Theatre director, Anthony Banks with students in Castillo’s youth theatre program, Youth Onstage!, with in the summer of 2010. It has received eight productions in Britain and 40 productions in Portugal.
Located at the All Stars Project’s performing arts and youth development center on West 42nd Street, the Castillo Theatre (Dan Friedman, artistic director; Diane Stiles, managing director) brings experimental political theatre, dealing with contemporary and historical social issues, to the heart of New York’s commercial theatre district for a diverse audience drawn from the many communities that make up NYC. Since 1983, Castillo has staged well over 100 productions — from multicultural and avant-garde plays, to musicals and improvisational comedy.
Children of Killers is being presented in conjunction with Performing the World 2012, an international cross-disciplinary, experiential conference being held at the All Star Project performance and youth development center, October 4-7. Children of Killers runs through October 28.
Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. at the Castillo Theatre, 543 West 42nd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenue). 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 go to www.castillo.org.