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2 posts from February 2013

February 19, 2013

City Theatre picks its Summer Shorts company

Irene Adjen (Emily) and Todd Durkin (David) in Green Dot Day - photo credit Rodrigo Gaya, WORLD RED EYEBlink 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.

For more information, call the Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722, visit the Arsht web site or visit City Theatre's web site.

(Photo of Irene Adjan and Todd Allen Durkin by Rodrigo Gaya of World Red Eye.)

 

February 14, 2013

A UM play inspired by Aristophanes debuts at sunset

Story_closeup_SarmientoThe University of Miami's ongoing celebration of the humanities and arts continues on Friday with a day-into-evening event titled A Walk in the CLOUDS: Celebrating the Classics at UM.  All events (except for parking) are free, and the day includes a classics symposium with multiple speakers, a keynote address about Aristophanes' play The Clouds, Edith Freni's world premiere play A Work of Pure Fiction and a post-performance reception at the Lowe Art Museum.

The day begins with a 10 a.m.to 12:30 p.m. session featuring speakers from the department of classics and department of theater arts. The lineup:  Stephen Di Benedetto on "Playing Aristophanes,"  Scott Farrington on "The Tragicomic Dionysus," Jennifer Ferriss-Hill on "Tragedy in Comedy:  The Comic Afterlife of Mysian Telephus," Wilson Shearin on "Loquacity and Sickening Nonsense: Plutarch's Reception of Aristophanes," Han Tran on "Cannibals Can't Sing: A Cyclops Struggles in the Land of Bacchus," and T. George Hendren on "Blood and Wine: The Sinister Side of Bacchic Revelry."  The symposium takes place in the College of Arts and Sciences Gallery at the Wesley Foundation building, 1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables.

Keynote speaker Kenneth J. Reckford, the Keenan Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, delivers his address from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., also in the Arts and Sciences Gallery.  The title:  "[Why] Did Aristophanes' Clouds Fail?."

A Work of Pure Fiction, a piece inspired by Aristophanes' Clouds, will debut at 5 p.m. on the lawn next to the Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr.  The performance by UM theater students is deliberately timed to take advantage of the setting sun.

A reception in the Lowe's Tobin Gallery, highlighted by a viewing of the museum's Greek calyx-krater (a painted ancient vessel used to mix water and wine), ends the celebration.

For more information about A Walk in the CLOUDS, call 305-284-5500.  For parking information, visit the university's web site.

(Photo of Danny Mendendez and Mary Hadsell in A Work of Pure Fiction by Laura Sofia Sarmiento)