A letter regarding our next production:
When selecting Cast Aside’s 2017 Professional Production Series, the country was in the grips of a presidential election. How audiences feel in relation to what’s going on in the world is an important factor when choosing our line-up, so Martin McDonagh’s “The Pillowman” was selected to end our season for three important reasons:
1.) It is a good story.
2.) It is terrifying in a way that theater rarely gets to be.
3.) It examined art in a totalitarian state; something many people were examining in the face of an uncertain American future.
Since announcing our season in October 2016, the culture has changed. The challenges we are facing are no longer hypothetical: People are being forced to choose sides by institutions and leaders that excel at creating sides. This division was reflected and magnified by the events in Charlottesville on August 11-12.
With all this in mind Cast Aside will be postponing our scheduled run of “The Pillowman” to 2018, so that we can bring to you a project that can help shine a light on our present state: Jason Robert Brown’s “Parade.”
“Parade” is a true story centered around the trial of pencil factory manager, Leo Frank, for the murder of his 13 year old employee, Mary Phagan. The show won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Book by the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Alfred Uhry (“Driving Miss Daisy”), and Best Original Score by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last 5 Years,” “Bridges of Madison County”).
This work examines racial and anti-semitic tensions in the American South, 50 years after the Civil War ended and on the doorstep of World War 1. It provides a glimpse into how these tensions still exist today, examining how our country never had time to process its deep divide, before being forced to unite in a great global conflict.
“Parade” is a testament, reminding us of the ugly parts of American history: inequality in the land of the free and man’s inhumanity toward man. Cast Aside will produce this work with the hope that audiences can somehow experience a part of it, learn from the mistakes and hysteria, and choose a better path forward.