The Naked Stage, a small theater company formed last season by actors Antonio and Katherine Amadeo (yeah, they're married) and John Manzelli, is planning a fund-raising benefit Nov. 19. But don't start yawning. This one is going to be crazy, creative and quite possibly loads of fun (at least for the audience).
Importing a concept that has worked in New York and in many other cities, the Naked Stagers are producing "The 24-Hour Theatre Project," in which six short plays will be created, rehearsed and performed after 24 hours of intense effort. Antonio Amadeo (that's him at left, with wife Katie) says that at least two other small companies -- most likely Miami's Mad Cat and Ground Up & Rising, he says -- will participate in what he hopes will become an annual artsy fundraiser.
"I'm surprised it hasn't happened here yet," says Amadeo, whose group will share the proceeds from the one and only performance equally with the other companies.
"We'll meet Sunday night [Nov. 18] at the Pelican Theatre [Naked Stage's performance space on the Barry University campus]. Each company will bring two writers, two directors and six actors. The names go into different hats (writers in one, directors in another), and there's a hat with titles in it. After names are drawn, each group has two hours to brainstorm, based on the title they get. Then the writers go away and have until 7 a.m. to write a 12- to 15-minute play."
Then the actors and directors take over, and after a marathon of staging and rehearsing, the new works get their world premiere at 8 p.m. Nov. 19 at GableStage.
GableStage artistic director Joseph Adler, who is donating his theater's space in the Biltmore Hotel so that the participating companies can keep all the proceeds, says he's helping "...because I think it's part of the mission of our theater; any not-for-profit has to give back to the community."
The Naked Stage, which already announced Martin McDonagh's The Lonesome West as its season opener (Jan. 24-Feb. 17), has just added two more shows to its 2008 lineup: 4.48 Psychosis, the final work of young British playwright Sarah Kane (after suffering for many years from depression, she took her own life in 1999), and the "Scottish play" (a.k.a. Macbeth).
With the benefit and those challenging titles, it sounds like a season of fast and furious theater for The Naked Stage.