David Rothenberg conceived and directs the piece where three men and one woman – Vilma Ortiz Donovan, Kenneth Harrington, Angel Ramos and Casimiro Torres – share personal stories about their childhood, life in prison, homelessness and beyond.
New York City Department of Corrections Commissioner Martin Horn has invited the cast to give three separate performances for inmates at Rikers Island.
On May 6, Donovan, Harrington, Ramos and Torres – three of whom were former inmates at Rikers – performed their stories for 500 corrections officers. They will repeat their performances on May 15 for female inmates and for male inmates on June 5.
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.