Friday, July 07, 2006


I saw this play last night. It's really wonderful. A one man show--and what a man he is! Seriously fabulous. I knew little about York (the only black man on the Lewis and Clark Expedition), but the story is amazing and beautifully done. Go see it if you can, it's only up until Sunday!

The Fascinating Story Of The Only African American On The Famed Lewis And Clark Expedition

As Part Of The Bicentennial Commemoration
David Casteal is "A whirlwind, A force of Nature, A Vital, Laughing, Raging Bundle of Muscle and Brain" – The Spokesman Review

June 9th, 2006 (New York, NY) 2003 marked the beginning of the 200th year commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Two years later marked the premiere of York by David Casteal and Bryan Harnetiaux, performance and African drumming by David Casteal, direction by Susan Hardie. Nearly 200 years from the conclusion of the journey, York will play in NYC at the 78th Street Theatre Lab (236 West 78th Street) in a limited engagement from Thursday, July 6th-9th at 8 PM. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling Smarttix at 212.868.4444 or by going to .

From childhood to post-expedition, York chronicles the largely untold story of William Clark's manservant/slave who was the only Black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803-1806). York is a poetic antecedent to the African-American struggle post slavery. The play tracks York's spiritual journey from submissive slave who achieves mild celebrity to accomplished and outgoing frontiersman, and then ultimately to an archetypal Black American.

York premiered at Spokane Civic Theatre's Firth Chew Studio Theatre in Spokane, WA on April 29, 2005. York has since been performed throughout the Northwest at the invitation of various community, arts and civic-minded organizations, educational groups, and the National Park Service's Corps of Discovery II in conjunction with the National Bicentennial Commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

David Casteal's roles at Spokane Civic Theatre have included Jackie Robinson in Bryan Harnetiaux's National Pastime, Fences, and The Old Settler, as well as York. He was named Best Male Actor of the 2004-05 theatre season by The Inlander, a Spokane weekly newspaper, for his portrayal of York. David has also studied and taught African drumming for many years. He is the Founder and Director of the student drum ensemble Kuumba, and he teaches fifth grade in Spokane.

Bryan Harnetiaux is Playwright in Residence at Spokane Civic Theatre in Spokane. Eleven of his plays have been published, including commissioned adaptations of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Long Walk to Forever, and Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Killers. His play, National Pastime, was first produced at Spokane Civic Theatre and recently completed runs at Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, CA and Stamford Theater Works in Stamford, CT.

Susan Hardie has directed scores of productions throughout Spokane, including Death of a Salesman, Lost in Yonkers, Tartuffe and The Elephant Man for Spokane Civic Theatre.

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