The University of Miami's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre just ended its season with an impressive production of Pal Joey, but theater department chair (and Ring producing artistic director) Henry Fonte has more -- much more -- in store for the 2011-2012 season.
South Florida's own Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Nilo Cruz, will be in residence at UM in September as one of the university's Stanford Distinguished Professors. He'll teach, do a public presentation, and the Ring will present his 1994 play Night Train to Bolina (Sept. 14-24), a piece about a boy and girl in a war-torn Latin American country.
Next, UM's theater department will join forces with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts for a production of Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba (Oct. 13-30). Professional actors will play Bernarda Alba and her housekeeper La Poncia, and UM students will play the daughters. Fonte will direct the production, which will be in the Arsht's Carnival Studio Theater.
Multiple Tony Award winner Tommy Tune returns Nov. 9-19 with playwright Mark Salzman for a full production of Project 54, the show they workshopped at UM in January. The piece is a music- and dance-filled look at the golden days of the famed Manhattan club Studio 54 and founder Steve Rubell. It's a world Tune knew well: He lived one block over and stopped by the disco nearly every night, back in the day.
A revival of the Edna Ferber-George S. Kaufman comedy Stage Door plays the Ring Feb. 15-25, followed by a production of the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum April 11-28. Want info? Visit the Ring's web site.
(Miami Herald photo of Nilo Cruz by Charles Mostoller)