New York State Senator Tom Duane has invited the company to perform the autobiographical work, which sheds light on the stories of incarcerated individuals and their journeys beyond. The Castle will be presented at 6 PM in the Empire State Plaza Building for a private performance to state legislators.
Duane, who represents Manhattan neighborhoods including Hell's Kitchen, Chelsea, the Upper West Side and the East Village, has been an advocate for humane prison conditions and proper medical and mental care for inmates. Duane is also New York's first openly gay and openly HIV-positive Senate member.
David Rothenberg conceived and directed The Castle, which features previous incarcerates Vilma Ortiz Donovan, Kenneth Harrington, Angel Ramos and Casimiro Torres, who tell their own true-life stories. The production officially opened at New World Stages April 27.
The Off-Broadway production and its title are inspired by the resident home run by the Fortune Society in upper Manhattan. The dramatic work features personal accounts of formerly incarcerated individuals and their re-entry into society.
Since its launch 40 years ago, the Fortune Society has been developing model programs that help former prisoners successfully re-enter their communities. The Castle serves as the Fortune Society's resident program for 60 men and women. Inspired by the 1967 Off-Broadway prison drama, Fortune in Men's Eyes, the Fortune Society was founded by former theatre publicist David Rothenberg. Among the services offered are supportive housing, career development, job retention, substance abuse treatment, alternatives to incarceration, HIV/AIDS services, education, family services and drop-in services as well as ongoing access to aftercare.
The Castle plays Saturdays and Sundays at 5 PM. Tickets, priced $30-$45, are available by phoning (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.
New World Stages is located in Manhattan at 340 West 50th Street.
For more information visit www.fortunesociety.org.