by David Budbill
Perhaps the most beloved play in Oldcastle Theatre's nearly 50 years is David Budbill's "Judevine." Last produced at Oldcastle 15 years ago, Oldcastle "Judevine" is returning in its fourth incarnation. "We love this play, our audience loves this play and theatres, like libraries exist to make available artistic treasures. "Judevine" is certainly that," according to Oldcastle's Associate Artistic Director, Richard Howe who has appeared in all of the previous productions. The play introduces more than 30 Vermonters rich and poor, young and old. They struggle. They strive live; and love. Win and lose. But lose more often. Six actors create the inhabitants of the fictional town of "Judevine."
Poet Wendell Barry has written, "Judevine is full of loving interest in other people and in what I insist on calling the real world. Budbill both informs and moves and he, in short, a delight and a comfort." Hayden Carruth has said;'with Chekovian insight, Budbill uncovers, through the American lives of the people of Judevine, the whole extent of his concern---which is ours, though we may not always know it---for the world, for peace, for love and justice, for understanding. To do so much he must be very resourceful--lyrical, exalted, funny, sometimes mean, always colorful--and he is."