« August 2011 | Main | October 2011 »

5 posts from September 2011

September 29, 2011

Kids can become playwrights

Miami Childrens Theater has created a playwrights' festival for Miami-Dade County kids 13 to 18, but the company isn't just looking for scripts.  It is holding three free workshops (the first is from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday) to help the aspiring young writers learn how to create stageworthy short scripts.

Called "Always Write!," the contest has a deadline of Dec. 15.  A panel will choose five finalists Jan. 4, and the five scripts will be performed for a panel of writers and actors on Jan. 28.  That panel will pick a first-place winner, who gets $250, and a runner-up, who'll get a $150 prize.

The workshops take place at the Alper Jewish Community Center, 11155 SW 112th Ave., Kendall.  Attendance at a minimum of one workshop is required for anyone who wants to enter the contest; the second workshop is from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 5, the third from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3.

Check here for more detailed info, or phone the Miami Childrens Theater at 305-274-3595.

September 23, 2011

A conference, a deal, a reading and a college show

Going into the weekend, here's a brief roundup of theater news and events:

Arnold mittelman brow CPY*  Arnold Mittelman, the long-time producing artistic director of the (still) closed Coconut Grove Playhouse, is planning a 2012 South Florida conference under the auspices of his National Jewish Theater (NJT) Foundation. With the help of a $60,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Mittelman is putting together an invitation-only conference to advance the NJT's Holocaust Theater Archive and web site.  Devoted to researching, cataloguing and encouraging the production of Holocaust-related theater, the archive has an advisory board that includes William Shulman of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, actor Theodore Bikel, theater historian Al Goldfarb and Haim Shaked of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami.

JHHH PRESS PIC *  A low-cost theater event and a reading will bring theater lovers to GableStage and Mosaic Theatre on normally dark nights for the companies, now home to the hit productions of Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brothers Size (GableStage) and Michael Weller's Side Effects (Mosaic).

GableStage is hosting Ground Up & Rising's minimalist production of Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop starring Curtis Belz at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.  The solo show requires a versatile actor to play a collection of marginalized guys trying to be heard.  Ground Up's Arturo Fernandez directs the show, and the $7 per person admission will benefit the company and its planned productions at the new South Dade Cultural Arts Center later this season.  For info, call 305-444-1119 or visit the GableStage web site.  GableStage is in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.

The free staged reading at Mosaic happens at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the company's black box theater at the American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Bldg. 3000, Plantation.  Edward Castle's A Bouquet for Raven Poe (yes, about Edgar Allan Poe) features Michael St.  Pierre, Shelby Steel, Scott Genn, Danielle Tabino, Daniel Nieves and Oscar Cheda.  Call 954-577-8243 or visit Mosaic's web site for info.

* If you're a fan of Caryl Churchill's plays, you're in luck: Florida Atlantic University's theater department is presenting Cloud 9from tonight through Oct. 2.  The time-traveling, gender-bending, smart script will be presented at the Studio One Theatre on FAU's main campus, 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton.  Performances are 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission is $20 ($12 for FAU students; $16 for faculty, staff and alumni).  Call 1-800-564-9539 or visit the FAU Events site for tickets.

September 15, 2011

Free theater...and other news

Logo Theatre Communications Group's annual Free Night of Theater is actually a collection of nights throughout October.  As in the past, some South Florida theaters are taking part, hoping to expand their audiences by offering a free sample of their work.  This year, seven companies here are participating. Some are offering tickets to just one or two performances, but Boca Raton's Caldwell Theatre Company is providing some free tickets at each performance of Amy Herzog's After the Revolution Oct. 16-30.

The wrinkle this year is that those seeking freebies enter online, indicating their first, second and third choices, then find out if they've won tickets.  To enter, visit the Free Night of Theater web site, fill out the profile form, and you're entered to win tickets.  Besides the Caldwell, other options in this region are Hairspray at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them at New Theatre in Coral Gables, Women Drivers at the Women's Theatre Project in Fort Lauderdale, The Rocky Horror Show at Slow Burn Theatre in Boca Raton, Little Shop of Horrors at Lake Worth Playhouse and The Sunshine Boys at Delray Beach Playhouse.

Two things to remember: You have to sign up by Sept. 23 or you're out of luck.  And since the idea is to introduce theatergoers to companies that are new to them, don't sign up for tickets to theaters you've visited in the past year.


Got a one-act play that you're bursting to write? Enter it in the South Florida Writers Association's one-act play contest and you might win $200.  The entry fee is $10 (a check or money order made out to the group), and plays that have been produced or won other contests aren't eligible.  The first-place winner gets to cast and direct a public reading of his or her work; second place winner takes home $150, third place $100.

Maximum running time is a half hour.  The playwright needs to submit two copies of the play, with a large self-addressed stamped envelope, to One-Act Play Writing Contest, South Florida Writers Association, P.O. Box 56-2652, Miami, FL 33256.  The deadline is Oct. 15.  For more info and formatting instructions, visit the association's web site.


Terence-blanchard-bouncepressphoto02-3000x2826 PEOPLE NEWS:  Terence Blanchard, artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, has been chosen to compose music for the spring Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named DesireBlair Underwood will make his Broadway debut as Stanley Kowalski, and McCarter Theatre's Emily Mann will direct.

DEANGELIS, Matt Former Hair star Matt DeAngelis, whose next gig will be touring in American Idiot, will teach a master class this Friday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Arts Alive, 10450 W. Atlantic Blvd., Coral Springs.  The $60 fee includes the class and free admission to the new music school's cabaret afterwards. Master class participants have to bring their own sheet music. Call 954-372-7878 or visit the Arts Alive web site for info.

Image003 Arts supporters Donald and Ann Brown have stepped up big time to back one of their favorite companies, Palm Beach Dramaworks.  The couple has donated $2 million and will have the company's new theater space on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach named after them.  The revamped facility, formerly the Cuillo Centre for the Arts, will have a gala dedication on Nov. 11, and the first production in the 218-seat theater -- Arthur Miller's All My Sons -- opens the following night.

Artistic leadership at Fort Lauderdale's Rising Action Theatre is changing.  David Goldyn, who founded the theater five years ago and served as its producing artistic director, is going to New York to pursue opportunities there (though he'll remain a consultant to the company).  Andy Rogow, former artistic director at the Hollywood Playhouse and past president of the Theatre League of South Florida, takes over as producing director.


September 08, 2011

Ground Up starts up again

PlayReadingFestival---Flyer Ground Up & Rising, the talented but frequently homeless young theater company that has roamed around much of Miami-Dade County, is resurfacing in a multifaceted way.

First up, this Saturday, is a free play-reading festival at St. John's on the Lake, 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach.  Two plays will be read:  first, at 5 p.m., is artistic director Arturo Fernandez's impressive (and appropriately titled) September 10th; then, at 8 p.m., Ground Up reads Stephen Adly Guirgis' Little Flower of East Orange.  The actors performing in the readings are Fernandez, Collin Carmouze, Curtis Belz, Claudio Pinto, Jenny Lorenzo, David Gallegos, Rachel Chin, Jason Edelstein, Jehanne Seralles, Marckenson Charles and Reggie Beaubrun.

TW PRESS PIC(NO COPY) The following weekend, Ground Up launches what Fernandez dubs "The Zero Point Project." The idea, he explains, is to build young audiences by offering minimalist productions in nontraditional venues for just $7 per ticket.  The project's first offering is Sam Shepard's True West, featuring Carmouze, Belz and Pinto, directed by Fernandez.

The Zero Point Project continues at 8 p.m. Sept. 26-27 with Danny Hoch's Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop.  That one will be presented at GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Tickets are $7 and available via the GableStage box office at 305-445-1119 or the company's web site.

The show will be performed at 8 p.m. Sept. 17-18, Sept. 23 and Sept. 25 at St. John's on the Lake.  Tickets are available by calling 1-866-811-4111, or visit the Ground Up & Rising web site.

Fernandez adds that, if all goes well, the company plans to present True West and Jails, Hospitals & Hip Hop at the new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center this fall.

September 06, 2011

The season starts early

South Florida's theater season used to get rolling in October. Not anymore.

This week brings openings of shows with multi-week runs at five professional theaters, plus three more shows that will be around just this weekend.  Those longer-running shows (which we'll get into in more detail before the weekend) are the Alliance Theatre Lab's second-stage production of Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother at Barry University's Pelican Theatre; Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown at Rising Action Theatre; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Broward Stage Door Theatre and Song Man, Dance Man at the Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre; and Charles Smith's Jelly Belly at the African American Performing Arts Community Theatre.  (Anne Nelson's The Guys, which was to have launched the Caldwell Theatre Company's second stage programming this weekend, has been postponed until December.)

Stage wkend15 Bridge Tunnel Rose Aimee First, though, here's a little info on the this-week-only shows, since your theatergoing window of opportunity is so short with them.

Karen Stephens repeats the tour de force performance she first brought to Fort Lauderdale's Women's Theatre Project when Sarah Jones' Bridge & Tunnel plays the Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton.  The chameleonic Stephens plays 14 New Yorkers of various ethnic backgrounds, varying ages and both genders in a play that is, by turns, funny, touching and intense.  Presented by the Boca Raton Theatre Guild, Bridge & Tunnel runs 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday Sunday.  Tickets are $15.  Call 561-347-3948.

Four plays about love open this weekend at Fort Lauderdale's New Light Theatre at Gallery 101, 3354 NE 33rd St.  Vanessa Garcia's The Proposal and Breaking Bread are paired with Wendy White's Marry Me! and I Want To Be Your Sculpture.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and tickets are just $15.  Call 954-829-0638 or visit the New Light Theatre's web site.

_DSC3091 And from Thursday through Sunday, Ever Chavez's FUNDarte brings If You're Going To Pull a Knife, USAlo to the On stage Black Box Theater at Miami Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami.  Directed by Carlos Díaz of Cuba's Teatro el Público, the piece features Carlos Caballero and Elizabeth Doud as a star-crossed couple -- a petroleum platform worker and a "mermaid" who happens to be a theme park character actress.  Performed in Spanish and English, and infused with the spirit of Samuel Beckett, the play (which premiered as part of Miami Light Project's Here & Now Festival) will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and for students 18 and younger).  Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 305-358-5885 or FUNDarte's web site.