Professor Noriega’s play CAGED honored by invitation to Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

Cast (Stephanie Castrejon '16, Teresa Isabel Ascencio '23, Amari Royal '23) and Jimmy A. Noriega

The Department of Theatre and Dance will travel with the production of CAGED to West Chester, Pennsylvania next week for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for a special performance on Jan. 17. In preparation for the event, there will be an encore performance of the play on Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Freedlander Theatre at the College of Wooster. Tickets are free and open to the public, with no need for reservations.

CAGED was written and directed by Jimmy A. Noriega, professor of theatre and Latin American Studies. It was selected by KCACTF Region 2 as one of the outstanding theatre productions of the region for 2022. The region includes undergraduate and graduate theatre programs from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Western New York, Northern Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Seven shows will be presented at the weeklong festival.

In the invitation, KCACTF stated, “The leadership team for region 2 believes that this is the kind of work we want to showcase at this year’s festival.” CAGED is slated as the opening night performance on Jan. 17 and the cast will hold a talkback with festival participants the following morning. The invitation adds, “By opening our conference…we feel it will set the tone for the week ahead.”

CagedThe show was last performed at Wooster in early October and in November the cast travelled to Belgium to perform it at an international theatre festival, also in November. “We were moved by the ways our production touched and spoke to the immigrant and refugee realties that are also affecting Europe,” Noriega said. “We are honored by these invitations and proud to see the play’s message resonating with so many people.”

CAGED focuses on the effects of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that separated migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border and left thousands of Latin American immigrant children incarcerated in detention centers. In the play, three young girls struggle with what it means to make the journey to the United States and to be separated from their loved ones. The play was created in collaboration with Noriega’s theatre company, Teatro Travieso/Troublemaker Theatre (www.teatrotravieso.org). The cast includes Teresa Ascencio ’23, Stephanie Castrejón ’16, and Amari Royal ’23.

The Department of Theatre and Dance cast and crew for CAGED.

The Department of Theatre and Dance cast and crew for CAGED.

The Department of Theatre and Dance production team for CAGED includes Dale Seeds (lighting design), Suwatana Rockland (costume design), Naoko Skala, assistant professor of theatre and dance (scenic design), Annie Sheneman (sound design), Mike Schafer (technical director), and Audrey Klosterman (stage manager). Noriega also collaborated with Emily Baird, assistant professor theatre and dance, on a movement piece for the production.

For the performance on Jan. 13, the running time is approximately one hour and will be followed by a brief talkback.

Top right image: Cast (Stephanie Castrejon ’16, Teresa Isabel Ascencio ’23, Amari Royal ’23) and Professor Jimmy A. Noriega

Posted in News on January 10, 2023.