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About the Plays

Why Carlyle?

If by definition a provocateur is one who “causes discussion, thought or argument,” then playwright Thomas Bradshaw is certainly one of the most provocative writers now working. In Mary, his inaugural Goodman production in 2011, his comic depiction of a white Southern family, their devoted black servants and the gay son whose attempts to bring…

The Embattled Appointment of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

With the spring, 1991 resignation of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, then-President George H. W. Bush was presented with a unique challenge. Marshall had been a legendary liberal who, as the first African American Justice, brought his decades-long activism to Court decisions. But the 1990s lay nestled in a resurgence of political conservatism, and Bush,…

A Brief History of Black Conservatism

Early in Thomas Bradshaw’s new play, the title character, Carlyle Meyers, reveals the question that the performance will set out to answer: How it is that a black person could end up becoming a Republican? He elaborates: CARLYLE: There’s no simple answer to the question of how a black person ends up a Republican. And…

A Different Kind of Matchmaking: Pairing Actors with Their Roles

“If Juliet is represented as a girl ‘very like Juliet’…..moving about in a ‘real’ house with marble staircases, rugs, lamps and furniture, the impression is irresistibly conveyed that these events happened to this one girl, in one place, at one moment in time. When the play is staged as Shakespeare intended it, the bareness of…

Video: A Look Inside Buen Pastor Prison

Every year the female inmates of Buen Pastor Prison in Bogotá, Colombia compete in a beauty pageant. It's the inspiration for playwright José Rivera and director Steve Cosson's new play "Another Word for Beauty" starting in January 2016.…

Why Another Word for Beauty?

How do we define beauty? By most standards, “beauty” is largely an external phenomenon, the quality of being physically attractive—although the standards of physical beauty may vary greatly from culture to culture and generation to generation. Webster’s Dictionary contains a second definition for the word, one that encompasses not only one’s outer being but the…

Prison Pageantry: Inside Buen Pastor’s Annual Beauty Competition

The women pose seductively, hands on hips, mouths stretched into toothy smiles. Their sequined bustiers and miniskirts glisten as the two-foot-tall feathers on their headdresses shift lightly in the breeze. They would be at home on the Las Vegas Strip. Instead, they are inmates in Buen Pastor Prison in Bogotá, Colombia. And for a brief…