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Taking the plunge

High Dive B If you've ever dreamed of being in a play but haven't quite mustered up the courage to try theater, has Barbara Sloan got a deal for you!

Appearing in Leslie Ayvazian's "solo" show High Dive at New Theatre, Sloan seeks out 34 "volunteers" before each performance, asking the chosen ones to read a line or two at precise moments in the play.  This isn't something Sloan thought up:  Ayvazian did it too when she performed High Dive nine years ago for City Theatre on Miami Beach.

The play about a woman looking back on her life and facing her fears as she's about to turn 50 may feel especially resonant to audience members with performance anxiety. Given New Theatre's size, there's a one-in-three chance Sloan will pick you.

But never fear.  You don't leave your seat, and the humor in the play -- and the actress -- puts everyone at ease.  Sort of a we're-all-jumping-together vibe.

High Dive is at New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables, through Feb. 13.  Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday (no late show this Sunday).  Tickets are $40 ($35 on Thursday and Sunday evening; $15 student rush tickets based on availability).  Call 305-443-5909 or visit New Theatre's web site for info.