With summer not so far away, Miami's City Theatre is gearing up for its annual Summer Shorts festival June 6-30 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts -- and for a rich week of programming in the third edition of its CityWrights gathering for playwrights.
City co-founder and literary director Susan Westfall has put together another jam-packed, enlightening symposium June 19-23 at Miami's Epic Hotel. Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Tina Howe will participate thanks to the Dramatists Guild Fund's Traveling Masters Program, along with master playwrights Lauren Gunderson (author of the family musical The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog, running June 15-30 at the Arsht) and Steve Yockey (a featured Summer Shorts playwright and stage, TV and film writer).
Among the highlights and topics of the week:
* Howe will send an exercise in advance to playwrights attending the conference, and the CityWrights acting ensemble will read the pieces.
* Publishers and agents will offer information sessions.
* Writing for film, theater, television and the internet will be explored.
* Entertainment attorneys can earn continuing legal education credits and meet experts on law and the arts.
* A teacher training institute to help educators teaching middle and high school students integrate playwriting into English, language arts and theater classes is part of the conference.
* A dozen students ages 16-19 will attend the conference free, work with professionals and get a reading of their CityWrights-created work. Interested students should email CityWrights@citytheatre.com.
* Two workshops for theater professionals, one on self-producing, the other on creating autobiographical solo shows, are part of the gathering.
The master playwrights and writers whose work is being produced as part of Summer Shorts will hold question-and-answer sessions about their work and careers, and the masters will read from their plays on Saturday evening. Numerous readings will be part of the week, and the winner City Theatre's National Award for Short Playwrighting, with comes with a $1,000 prize, will be revealed at the conference launch party June 19.
Two early-bird rate all-access passes are on sale through April 30 -- $275 for regular attendees, $175 for students (those rise to $350 for a regular pass, $275 for students after the deadline). One-day pass rates for specific programs range from $100 to $195.
To register or get more information, call 305-755-9401 or visit the City Theatre web site.
(Photos show, top to bottom, Susan Westfall, Tina Howe and Lauren Gunderson)