Off-Off Broadway’s Finest

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The Castillo Theatre celebrates 25 years with its Young Playwrights Festival

On West 42nd St. as part of the All Stars Project of NY (ASP of NY), the Castillo presented a series of new political plays in celebration of 25 years of performance activism. I got a chance to review two of the series.

The first — Coming of Age, by William Santos, depicting a poverty stricken black family struggling with generational conflicts to say the least. As the 17 year-old central character prepares to emancipate himself from the family — consisting of his mother, grandmother and wayward sister — he lets us in on the fact that he’s gay and HIV positive. ‘Bill’ is played with a mix of whimsy and empathy by Kevin Drouillard in an outstanding first appearance at Castillo — one particular example is where he and his sister play a game called ‘Talk Show’, which is alternately hilarious and poignant.