Works Progress Austin: Casta by Adrienne Dawes


Casta a new play by Adrienne Dawes

Works Progress Austin series
FREE performance Dec 22 at 8pm

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.

 Works Progress Austin: Spring 2017  Casta

Works Progress Austin: Spring 2017 Casta

Directed by Jenny Larson / Dramaturgy and Translations by Jesus Valles / Featuring performers Linzy Beltran, Florinda Bryant, Manuel Duran, Noel Gaulin, Delante Keys, Marina De Yoe-Pedraza, and Jesus Valles.

The piece features music by Austin composer Graham Reynolds and puppets by artist Julia Smith.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: Friday December 22nd at 8pm

PERFORMANCE LOCATION: The Hicks House at Austin Seminary / 30th & Speedway

TICKETS: FREE! Reservations available online at, or by emailing

Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the performance.

ickets will also be available at the door the night of the performance.

ABOUT WORKS PROGRESS AUSTIN: Launched in 2006, SVT’s Works Progress Austin development series provides playwrights with resources they need to bring their work to life. Works Progress Austin: 2017 Edition previously featured new works by Taji Senior, Amparo Garcia-Crow and Diana Small.

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 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.

ABOUT JENNY LARSON: Jenny Larson has served as artistic director of Salvage Vanguard Theater, an experimental new works company in Austin Texas, since 2008. Jenny holds a BA from St Edwards University in Austin. She has directed over 18 world premiere productions. She was named Best of Austin “Theater Director” by the local entertainment weekly paper Austin Chronicle in 2016. Jenny’s devised collaboration with artist Hannah Kenah, Guest by Courtesy, has played the international Fusebox Festival in 2013, the SHE MAKES THEATER festival in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2013, and the Brooklyn Yard in 2016. She was awarded Best Director of a Drama from the B Iden Payne Committee in Austin for her work on AM I WHITE by Adrienne Dawes in 2014In the spring of 2017 she was an Artist-In-Residence at the Drama League in New York. The summer of 2017 Jenny was an Artist-In-Residence in Kokkola, Finland with the Drake Art Centre. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC in the Department of Theatre and Film.

ABOUT GRAHAM REYNOLDS: Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with a wide range of collaborators across a multitude of disciplines.
Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” with Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne for Amazon Studios, the Rude Mechs’ “Stop Hitting Yourself” for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux”, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, “The Marfa Triptych”. His Creative Capital Award winning project, “Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance”, a chamber opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides, is currently touring.