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The Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre

The 20th Annual Otto Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Pictured above are honorees (front row left to right) Eduardo Machado, Mia Katigbak, Anthony Mosely of Collaboration and (back row, left to right) Dan Friedman, Beau Willimon, Woodie King, Jr., Todd London, David Cherry, Diane Stiles and John Rankin III.  

About this year's honorees:

Collaboraction is a 21-year-old multicultural Chicago theatre which has, since 2013, focused on engaging racism and poverty as the root causes of Chicago’s epidemic of violence. Its devised docudrama, Crime Scene, has been performed for free (along with free meals) 125 times in parks and other outdoor spaces before a total audience of approximately 20,000 people.

Mia Katigbak  For three decades Mia has made it her mission to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theater in the US, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture. In 1991 the National Asian American Theatre Co., Inc. (NAATCO) was founded by Katigbak, who serves as its Artistic Producing Director.  Mia is a consummate actress, having played an emblematic range of roles which demonstrate her passion for political theater.  She is a theater artist who generously moves between acting and producing, always fighting for social justice, artistic diversity, cultural equity and inclusion.

Eduardo Machado  was born in Cuba and came to the US when he was eight. He is the author of over 40 plays which have been produced at many major regional theaters, as well as in Europe and Off-Broadway. Mr. Machado has taught playwriting and served as an artistic associate at The Public, the Flea Theatre, and The Cherry Lane Alternative, and he was playwright in residence at The Mark Taper Forum. He was the artistic director of the off-Broadway INTAR Theatre in NYC and is a member of the Actors Studio, The Ensemble Studio Theater, and is an alumnus of New Dramatists. Mr. Machado is currently the Head of Playwriting in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

 • To make a gift in support of the Otto Awards, please click here!

The Otto Awards (Executive Producer: Diane Stiles) were founded in 1998 to recognize, support and connect theatre companies and artists engaged in creating political, experimental and community-based theatre. They have been awarded to 106 theatres and individual theatre artists from the United States, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Northern Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Pakistan, Serbia and the United Kingdom.

For a listing of all winners of the Otto Award for Political Theatre since the award's founding in 1999, please click here!



To make a gift on the occasion of the 20th annual Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre in honor of our awardees, please call Liz Garcia at 212-356-8476.
For information about the Otto Awards for Political Theatre
contact Producer John Rankin at 212 356-8430 or by email at



The 2017 Otto Awards were celebrated at Castillo Theatre on Sunday, May 21. The honorees (pictured above, front row right to left) were:

Catherine Filloux is an award-winning playwright addressing human rights and social justice for over twenty years. Filloux’s more than twenty plays have been produced in New York and around the world, and she has written the librettos for several operas. She has received numerous awards and grants for her playwriting and developed the Oral History Project A Circle of Grace with the Cambodian Women's Group at St. Rita’s Refugee Center in Bronx, NY. She has provided French-English translations for various theater companies and periodicals. Filloux is a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders and has served as a speaker for playwriting and human rights organizations around the world.

Robey Theatre Company was founded in 1994 to fill a void of opportunity for Black theatre artists. Their mission is, through the creative process, to explore and develop relevant, provocative, and innovative new plays written about the Black experience, as well as to reinterpret established works. Robey creates a nourishing environment of understanding and support in which multi-cultural theatre artists are compelled to take risks in the search for artistic fulfillment. It provides time, educational opportunities, and encouragement for such growth and contributes to high standards of excellence in the Black theatre in America.

Favianna Rodriguez
is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and organizer based in Oakland, California. Favianna lectures globally on the intersection of art, social justice and cultural equity to catalyze social change, and leads art interventions in communities around the country. Rodriguez collaborates with social movement groups around the country to co-create art that’s resilient, empowering and transformative. She is the executive director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2012, she was featured in a documentary series by Pharrell Williams titled “Migration is Beautiful”. In 2009, she co-founded, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.


Click on the video below to hear Otto René Castillo's poem, "The Apolitical Intellectuals," performed by the staff and volunteers of the Castillo Theatre. 



A video parade of the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre sculptures, designed by Sheila Goloborotko.