Blink and it will be summer, so it's no surprise that City Theatre has put most of the pieces of its 18th annual Summer Shorts festival together. Artistic director John Manzelli has just revealed the six performers who will make up the must-be-versatile acting company, and it's a good one. Back again are Irene Adjan and Todd Allen Durkin, two standouts from last year's troupe. They're joined by Ken Clement, Renata Eastlick, Rayner G. Garranchan and Vera Varlamov. Long-time festival fans will note that Stephen Trovillion, aka "Mr. Summer Shorts," isn't in the company this year, though he has appeared in nearly every festival so far.
"I think change is a good thing sometimes," Manzelli says. "I'm sure Steve will be back. I've wanted to work with Ken for a long time, and I'm excited to bring Irene and Todd back."
Manzelli will be sharing most of the directing duties for the festival, which will run June 6-30 in the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with Margaret M. Ledford. Mcley LaFrance will direct one of the short plays, and another guest director will stage one play.
The lineup of plays and playwrights is coming soon. But Manzelli says that the Arsht program, while presented as a single production, will have an intermission separating six plays dubbed Program A, six in Program B. The annual CityWrights playwrights' weekend will return too, with the program to be announced shortly.
The Miami lineup won't travel to Broward. Instead, City Theatre will coproduce a four-week short-play program with Island City Stage in August. That program will focus heavily on work by South Florida playwrights, Manzelli says.
Also on the horizon is a January-February Florida tour for Dr. Wonderful, the company's musical for family audiences. And Manzelli is working toward a regional/national tour of Summer Shorts next season.
(Photo of Irene Adjan and Todd Allen Durkin by Rodrigo Gaya of World Red Eye.)