by Salvage Vanguard Theater

Aug. 24 - Aug. 25, 2018

Salvage Vanguard Theater invites you to attend a staged reading of Casta by Adrienne Dawes, presented as part of Works Progress Austin.

Launched in 2006, Works Progress Austin provides playwrights with the resources they need to bring their work to life. Works Progress Austin has featured new works by Caridad Svich, Dan Dietz, and Sibyl Kempson.

Casta is inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera, a mixed-race painter from Oaxaca. Casta paintings were a unique form of portraiture that grew in popularity over the 18th century in Nueva España/colonial Mexico. The paintings depicted different racial mixtures arranged according to a hierarchy defined by Spanish elites.

When a lowly apprentice is commissioned to paint a casta series for a wealthy patron, he tries to conform his work to a set hierarchy. The images revolt, illuminating a complex portrait of fluid Latinx identities.

In anticipation of the 2019 premiere, this Works Progress Austin workshop will support 2 weeks of rehearsal time, incorporating new puppets by designer Julia Smith and new music by composer Graham Reynolds. Founding creative team members Adrienne Dawes (playwright), Jenny Larson (director) and KhattieQ (performer) will return to Austin as part of this final development process.

An ARTIST TALK with the playwright and guest speaker Laura G. Gutiérrez, Interim Chair and Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and Susan Deans-Smith, Associate Chair and Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin, Department of History and Faculty Affiliate, Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, will follow the Saturday August 25thperformance.

Written by Adrienne Dawes

Dramaturgy and Translation by Jesus Valles

Directed by Jenny Larson

Original score by Graham Reynolds 

Puppet Design by Julia Smith

 Featuring performers Linzy Beltran, Kenah Benefield, Manuel Duran, Noel Gaulin, Marina De Yoe-Pedraza, Jesus Valles, Tiffany Nicely-Williams, and khattieQ.

Adrienne Dawes is an award-winning playwright originally from Austin, TX. Her full length plays include: Denim Doves (2016), Am I White (2014, B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Script; David Mark Cohen New Play Award; Kilroys honorable mention), and You Are Pretty (2004, Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting). Adrienne is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ScriptWorks and company member of Salvage Vanguard Theater. Adrienne is currently based in Tulsa, OK as part of the first writing cohort of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Jenny Larson has served as artistic director of Salvage Vanguard Theater, an experimental new works company in Austin Texas, since 2008. Jenny holds a BA from St Edwards University in Austin. She has directed more than 18 world premiere productions. She was named Best of Austin “Theater Director” by the local entertainment weekly paper Austin Chronicle in 2016. Jenny’s devised collaboration with artist Hannah Kenah, Guest by Courtesy, has played the international Fusebox Festival in 2013, the SHE MAKES THEATER festival in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2013, and the Brooklyn Yard in 2016. She was awarded Best Director of a Drama from the B Iden Payne Committee in Austin for her work on AM I WHITE by Adrienne Dawes in 2014. In the spring of 2017 she was an Artist-In-Residence at the Drama League in New York. The summer of 2017 Jenny was an Artist-In-Residence in Kokkola, Finland with the Drake Art Centre. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia, Called “the quintessential modern composer” by the London Independent, Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs and concert halls with a wide range of collaborators across a multitude of disciplines.

Graham Reynolds: Heard throughout the world in films, TV, stage, and radio, he recently scored Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying” with Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne for Amazon Studios, the Rude Mechs’ “Stop Hitting Yourself” for Lincoln Center Theater, Ballet Austin’s “Belle Redux”, and a multi-year commission from Ballroom Marfa, “The Marfa Triptych”. His Creative Capital Award winning project, “Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance”, a chamber opera created with librettists Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (Mexico City) and director Shawn Sides, is currently touring.




Salvage Vanguard Theater (SVT) based in Austin TX, is a nonprofit organization that provides accessible, affordable, artistic exchange between a diverse, inclusive community of artists and audiences through high quality experiences that foster experimentation and generate conversation. 


Visit or contact Jenny Larson for more information: 512-474 7886 or


"Casta" is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant Program                                 


This project is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Drama League, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works, and in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future.  This project is produced in coordination with the City of Austin’s Brush Square Museums and Parks and Recreation Department. Photo by Bonica Ayala.

by Adrienne Dawes and Consetta Rubel
Salvage Vanguard Theater

August 24 - August 25, 2018
unspecified in Austin
somewhere in Austin
to be announced
Austin, TX, 78700

August 24thand 25th2018

Friday at 7:30 pm

Saturday at 4 pm and 7:30 pm

TICKETS:$5, reservations available online at at the door the night of the performance.

Hicks House at Austin Seminary, 100 E 27thSt., Austin, TX 78705


(via SVT)