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Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes

  • Hicks House 100 E 27th St, Austin, TX 78705 (map)

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca.  Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that organized racial mixtures of the New World according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites. The complexities of contemporary racial identity(ies) are echoed in this distant mirror of casta paintings. How do Old World anxieties about ambiguous racial identity reflect contemporary biases?

This is the third WPA workshop for Casta. In this current draft of Casta, the creative team is incorporating puppetry, expanding music by composer Graham Reynolds and exploring bilingual text. After a week of developing these new elements, audiences are invited to witness the piece in its current form.


Written by Adrienne Dawes

Dramaturgy and Translation by Jesus Valles

Directed by Jenny Larson

Original score by Graham Reynolds 

Puppet Design by Julia Smith

ABOUT ADRIENNE DAWES: Adrienne Dawes is an award-winning playwright originally from Austin, TX. Her full length plays include: Denim Doves (2016), Am I White (2014, B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Script; David Mark Cohen New Play Award; Kilroys honorable mention), and You Are Pretty (2004, Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting). Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ScriptWorks and company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater. Adrienne is currently based in Tulsa, OK as part of the first writing cohort of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. www.adriennedawes.com

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"Casta" is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program.                                  

This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Drama League, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works, and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  This project is produced in coordination with the City of Austin’s Brush Square Museums and Parks and Recreation Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com. The City of Austin is proud to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require assistance for participation in our programs or use of our facilities, please call (512) 474-SVT6   



Earlier Event: October 26
Three Headed Festival
Later Event: December 23
House Play by Diana Lynn Small