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New Theatre, new season

Ricky J Coral Gables' New Theatre, which commissioned and premiered Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics, has found its groove in presenting new plays.  At this year's Carbonell Awards, the theater scored four of five nominations for best new work, and though William Mastrosimone's Dirty Business at Florida Stage won the award, New Theatre's dominance of the category, under the artistic direction of Ricky J. Martinez,  certainly makes a statement.

The company's 2009-2010 season, which begins Aug. 27-Sept. 27 with its annual summer Shakespearean production (this time, The Taming of the Shrew), continues to mix the old (classic plays) and the new (world premieres).

After Shrew, New Theatre premieres David Caudle's In Development, a play set at a conference for aspiring playwrights.  This is no deadly dull meeting, however; well, deadly maybe, as the comedy's plot involves sex, dramaturgy and death. That one runs Oct. 8-Nov. 8.

Next, New Theatre will present one of the National New Play Network premieres of 26 Milesby Quiara Alegria Hudes.  A Pulitzer finalist and the book writer of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, Hudes tells the story of a Cuban mother who defies a custody ruling, kidnaps her estranged Jewish daughter and hits the road.  It runs Nov.19-Dec. 20.

Sandra Riley's Hour of the Tiger gets its world premiere Jan. 14-Feb. 14, 2010.  It's about the dilemma of an American woman in Japan as she contemplates trying to rescue a geisha.

One more classic will be added to the lineup Feb. 25-March 28, followed by a final world premiere April 8-May 9.

Season subscription prices, which represent a 25 percent discount on single-ticket prices, are $180 for a six-play flexible pass, $150 for a five-play pass (which excludes The Taming of the Shrew).  For information, call 305-443-5909 or visit the New Theatre web site.