The 19th annual Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre were on Sunday, May 21st and what a celebration it was! The 2017 awardees — playwright Catherine Filloux, The Robey Theatre Company, and artist/organizer Favianna Rodriguez — were incredibly diverse in their art and so united in their commitment to using creativity and their talents to make a better world.
The past Ottos who nominated this year’s awardees reflect the breadth of the 19-year history of the Otto Awards — Woodie King, Jr. was in the inaugural group of artists in 1998 and he nominated the Robey Theatre this year; Rhodessa Jones, whose Cultural Odyssey received an Otto in 2002, nominated Favianna Rodriguez; and, Catherine Filloux was nominated by 2016 Otto Kia Corthron.
Otto Rene Castillo (1936-1967) was a Guatemalan poet and revolutionary. He was captured by the reactionary forces of that government and tortured to death. The Otto Awards are named in his honor to recognize and support theatre companies and artist around the world doing socially challenging work.
The Otto Award is a limited-edition sculpture, created by Brazilian multi-media artist and master printmaker Sheila Goloborotko. Goloborotko’s work has been seen widely in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, and the U.S. (where she now resides). Her work is part of the permanent collection of the New York Public Library.
The Otto Award is now heading into the twentieth year of the Otto René Castillo Awards for Political Theatre. The Robey Theatre company is honored to be a recipient of The Otto Award.