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VOTES 

Directed by Gabrielle L. Kurlander

It's the eve of the 2016 election and America is hours away from choosing its first woman president. The former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Melanie Jefferson and her husband the former President William Jefferson, are ready to count the votes, when the arrival of an unexpected visitor threatens to disrupt everything. What happens next makes for an election eve unlike any other.

Votes questions the nature of feminism, of power and of the political game itself.  By turns dramatic and comedic, Votes draws on a 1999 musical The Last Temptation of William Jefferson, written in the wake of the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal by Castillo’s late artistic director, Fred Newman and Grammy-nominated composer Annie Roboff. Seventeen years later, Jacqueline S. Salit takes Temptation and wraps a new story around it, examining the political and personal conflicts of the famous First Couple.   



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The Cast

Lisa Wright-Mathews (Melanie Jefferson), Wayne Miller (William Jefferson), Debbie Buchsbaum (Vivian Traveler), Bryan Austermann (Brett), Frances McGarry (Mrs. Shrunk), Art McFarland (Newscaster), Tori Ogunsanya (Maria)


The Creative Team

Gabrielle L. Kurlander (Director), Mary Fridley (Assistant Director), David Belmont and Michael Walsh (Music Team), Lonné Morreton (Choreography), Kerry Gibbons (Costume Design), Nick Kolin (Lighting Design), Miguel Romero (Set Design), John Rankin III (Producer), Lindsay Bleile (Stage Manager), Joseph Spirito (Technical Director)


About the creators of Votes

Director Gabrielle L. Kurlander has been a member of the Castillo Theatre company since 1989. Her production of the musical Sally and Tom (The American Way) by Fred Newman and Annie Roboff, won five 2012 AUDELCO Awards, including an award for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Ms. Kurlander’s other directing credits include:  Clare Coss’s Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington (2014); Playing with Heiner Müller, winner of a 2011 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance; Coming of Age in Korea (co-directed with Desmond Richardson); Still on the Corner; Billie and Malcolm: A Demonstration; Revising Germany; Lenin's Breakdown; all by Fred Newman; The Task and Heiner Müller: A Man Without a Behind, by Heiner Müller; and Hot Snow by Laurence Holder. A longtime activist and non-profit leader, Ms. Kurlander is President and CEO of the All Stars Project.

Fred Newman was the artistic director and playwright-in-residence of the Castillo Theatre from 1989 until his retirement in 2005. He wrote 43 plays, including: Sally and Tom (The American Way), Billie & Malcolm: A Demonstration, Lenin’s Breakdown, Outing Wittgenstein, and Stealin’ Home. His play Satchel: A Requiem for Racism was co-produced by Castillo and the New Federal Theatre in 2008. In 2002, he wrote and directed the independent film Nothing Really Happens (Memories of Aging Strippers), which won several film festival awards. In addition to his theatrical work, he was an independent political pioneer, a social therapist and a philosopher. He was a co-founder of the All Stars Project, Inc.

Songs by Grammy-nominated composer Annie Roboff have been recorded by artists as diverse as Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, The Indigo Girls, Tim McGraw and The Dixie Chicks. With five #1 hits to her name, Ms. Roboff is considered one of the most important songwriters working today. Her songs appear on albums that have sold over forty-five million copies. Theatrically, Ms. Roboff collaborated with late Castillo artistic director Fred Newman on several political musicals, including Sally and Tom (The American Way) and Still on the Corner.

Playwright Jacqueline S. Salit has a 30-year history in independent and insurgent politics.  An agitator and “outsider” strategist, she managed Michael Bloomberg’s three successful mayoral campaigns on the Independence Party line and was a key figure in the longshot presidential bids of both Ross Perot and Lenora Fulani.  She is the author of Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America (Palgrave Macmillan) and publishes regularly on the Huffington Post. Her theatrical credits include co-writing Crown Heights with Fred Newman and Dan Friedman (1998), and Newman’s Women (2012). She made her acting debut  in Sally and Tom (The American Way) in 2012.