Kathleen Chalfant Defends Freedom of British Detainees in Guantánamo, Aug. 20

By Ernio Hernandez
July 28, 2004

Angels in America star Kathleen Chalfant heads the Off-Broadway cast of the London hit Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom set to play at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre, starting Aug. 20.

Allan Buchman and The Culture Project follow up their presentation of wrongful imprisonment drama The Exonerated with the new documentary drama at the same downtown Manhattan venue with an official opening Aug. 26.

Similar to the theatre's former tenant The Exonerated, the drama Guantánamo is based on actual testimony of detainees (as well as lawyers and public officials). Victoria Brittain and Gillian Slovo assembled the work from interviews (conducted in March and April 2004) of five British detainees at the titular Cuban locale who were released from imprisonment in late February.

Nicolas Kent and Sacha Wares direct the work which was commissioned (from an idea by Kent) by the Tricycle Theatre in January 2004. The show opened at the northern London Tricycle in May to sold out crowds and recently moved to the West End.

Joining Chalfant in the cast are Jeffrey Brick, Steven Crossley, Ramsey Faragallah, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Robert Langdon Lloyd, Aasif H. Mandvi, Harsh Nayyar, Maulik Pancholy (Aunt Dan and Lemon), Joris Stuyck and Waleed F. Zuaiter (Sixteen Wounded).

The design team include Miriam Buether (set and costume) and Johanna Town (lighting).

Chalfant, who was in the original casts of Wit, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America: Perestroika, has also appeared on Broadway in M. Butterfly and Racing Demon. The actress has been quite busy Off-Broadway in recent years having performed in The Last Letter, Savannah Bay and Talking Heads — the latter two, at times in the same evening.

For tickets to Guantánamo at 45 Bleecker Street Theatre, call (212) 253-9983. For more information on The Culture Project, visit www.45bleecker.com.