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Reading, clowning and shutting down

Noah_noseGableStage is host to two theater events early next week.

First up, on Monday at 7:30 p.m., is a staged reading of WOPS by Richard Janaro.  Based on what happened to four generations of the playwright's Italian-American family, the play's many characters endure both societal and familial turmoil in the 20th century.  The three founders of the Miami Shores-based Naked Stage -- Antonio Amadeo, Katherine Amadeo and John Manzelli -- play all the characters, under the direction of Deborah Mello.  Admission is free. GableStage is located in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.

On Tuesday at GableStage, Minneapolis-based physical theater artist Noah Bremer performs his solo show Untitled Duet With Houseplant as a benefit for Davie's Promethean Theatre.  Bremer (shown, with clown nose, in the photo here) portrays Pepe, a guy who has to contend with an uncooperative plant named Gertrude. Admission is $20.  For tickets, call 1-866-811-4111.  Bremer is also teaching two workshops, each limited to 25 participants, at Nova Southeastern University's Black Box Theatre.  The first, titled "The Dynamic Physical Performer," is Saturday, Jan. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the second, "The Art of Play," is Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The fee for each workshop is $60.  Call 786-317-7580 to reserve a space.

Finally, some unfortunate economy-related theater news. New Theatre founder Rafael de Acha has suspended operations of his Theater by the Book, which presented large-cast staged readings of classic plays.  Contributions and grants have dried up, De Acha notes, and without them the company couldn't pay its actors.

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Antonio Amadeo

Rafael De Acha did a great thing by starting this play reading company and paying his actors. He employed many artists in the short time the company was around.

I wouldn't be surprised if, as a sign of gratitude, some of the local artists who owe their livelyhood (sp?) in part to De Acha would be more than willing to donate their time to some readings for him. Just until he's able to secure further funding. No reason to see the company end if there is a chance for a good future.

Count me in.

Rafael de Acha

Thanks to Antonio for his generous response. There is a chance for a good future, as he says in his hopeful way, but that future, I fear, is not around the corner. Hopefully, the new administration will step in to assist the arts in our country, the way the Roosevelt administration did with the Arts program encompassed by the New Deal. The old template of 501(c)3 non-profits and mostly personal and corporate contributions supporting the arts has pretty much run out of steam. We ought to look to Europe's developed nations and study their formulas of support for the arts. Perhaps we can learn something from them. One thing we surely can learn is this: they support their artists. In my forty-year plus experience in arts administration in our country, the pattern I've seen has been the other way around: artists propping things up, becoming human capital, working for miserable or no wages with only the hope that a big break will come their way. In other words, artists doing the supporting of the arts. Doesn't make sense to me.

Ken Clement

Count me in.

john manzelli

I echo Ken. I would also be happy to support Raphael in his work. I would love to do a reading and could supply some young college talent as well. I am sure that the prospect of not paying actors is not something that a man of such class as Raphael would want to chose, but the mission of Theater By The Book is important and perhaps this could be a bridge to better days.

John Manzelli

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