March 16, 2015

Carbonell Awards announce three special honors

The 39th annual Carbonell Awards ceremony and show will happen on Monday, March 30, in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, and most of the nominees will just have to bite their fingernails until that evening.

UnnamedBut the Carbonell organization, which administers South Florida's venerable theater awards program, on Monday announced the recipients of three special honors, including the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, an honor named for the legendary Broadway producer, playwright and director.


This year's Abbott Award goes to Scott Shiller, the outgoing executive vice president of Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  Shiller, 39, will become president and CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in May.  He's being honored with the Carbonells' most prestigious award for his programming and fiscal successes at the Arsht; for embracing the work of myriad South Florida companies and artists, and showcasing that work at the Arsht; and for leading the tri-county Carbonell organization to greater stability.

Expressing his gratitude, Shiller observed in a statement, "South Florida is one of the great performing arts regions in the country because of the wisdom, hard work and artistic drive of those who have created a thriving theater scene in the 39 years since the Carbonell Awards were founded.  I've been honored to work side-by-side with these dedicated producers, directors, actors and designers who embrace the art of storytelling and community engagement each and every day."

Image003Iris Acker, a veteran actress, director, author and the host of the TV show Spotlight on the Arts, will receive the Howard Kleinberg Award at the Carbonell ceremony.  Named for the longtime editor of the Miami News, the Kleinberg Award goes to someone who has contributed to the health and development of the arts in South Florida.  Acker, a Carbonell judge and one of the founders of the regional Silver Palm Awards, has performed at theaters throughout South Florida.  She was the state's first Actors' Equity liaison, started a casting hotline, served as president of the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists, and has contributed to the theater community in countless other ways.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful life in the theater. When I'm not on stage, I have the privilege of being able to promote everything that is now on stage," Acker said.

The Ruth Foreman Award, named for the pioneering producer-director who helped shape local theater in South Florida, is being given to The Naked Stage for the company's annual 24-Hour Theatre Project.

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Antonio and Katherine Amadeo, who founded their company along with City Theatre producing artistic director and Barry University associate theater professor John Manzelli, first held their artistic fundraiser in 2007.  Each year, South Florida playwrights draw titles, the name of a director and the names of several actors from a hat.  After a long night of writing, rehearsals begin the next morning, and the brand-new short plays get their one and only performance that evening.  The event has become a much-anticipated annual celebration of community and talent for both artists and audiences from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

"That first year ended up being pure chaotic magic, and we realized we had something wonderfully special on our hands," said Katherine Amadeo.  "It is humbling, and we continue to be awed by the outpouring of generosity and love this community has shown to us, time and again."

Tickets for the Carbonell ceremony, which is open to the public, are $31.86.  The show goes on at 7:30 p.m. at the Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale.  For information, call 954-462-0222 or visit the Broward Center web site.

(Photos, from top, show Scott Shiller, Iris Acker, Antonio and Katherine Amadeo.)

February 04, 2014

Covenant House benefit honoring Paige O'Hara

Ft. Laud. Native Paige O'Hara with BelleShe didn't appear as the bookish, beautiful Belle in Disney's Oscar-winning 1991 smash Beauty and the Beast -- but that's only because the movie was animated.  Take a look at Paige O'Hara's photo, though, and you see that the animators may have drawn some of their inspiration from the woman who gave voice (spoken and musical) to Belle.

On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., the Fort Lauderdale native will be back home as one of two honorees at the Night of Broadway Stars, a benefit for Covenant House, which provides shelter and services to homeless young people.  Produced by Neil Berg, the show will feature performances of Broadway classics by professional singer-actors and some of the Covenant House residents.  O'Hara will perform alongside Broadway-tested talents Alan H. Green, John Treacy Egan, Rita Harvey, Capathia Jenkins, Ted Louis Levy and Natalie Toro.

Honored along with the late Kevin Koenig, co-founder of City Furniture, O'Hara has been dedicated to showbiz since she began acting with the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theater.  She got training at Parkway Middle School and in the arts program at Nova High, then went to New York.  Among her theater roles:  Ellie May in Showboat, Fantine in Les Miserables, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.

The gala evening takes place at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale.  Tickets are $225, and the event includes the performance, dinner and a post-show reception.  Roxanne Vargas of NBC6 will emcee.  For information, contact Elisa Stone of Covenant House at 954-568-7914 or via email at [email protected].

October 25, 2013

Silver Palm Award recipients announced

Carbonells0327 i epfThe six-year-old Silver Palm Awards for theatrical excellence aren't like the much older, more formal Carbonell Awards.  The Silver Palms vary in number from year to year, avoid categories and competition, and are decided upon by an executive committee -- playwright Tony Finstrom, actress and Becon TV talk show host Iris Acker and Florida Media News/ENV Magazine critic Ron Levitt -- based on recommendations sent to them by South Florida critics.

This year, Silver Palms go to 20 recipients in honor of the South Florida Theatre League's 20th anniversary.  They're for work done between Sept. 1, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2013, and they'll be presented at the League's annual holiday party in Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 2.

Honored this year are producer-writer-director-actor-designer Antonio Amadeo, for his multifacted original work in A Man Puts on a Play at The Naked Stage; Miami Theater Center playwright and director Stephanie Ansin for her production of The Three Sisters; Ann Kelly Anthony for her work as executive director and board chair at Mad Cat Theatre Company; Andie Arthur, for six years as executive director of the South Florida Theatre League; Matt Corey, for his sound design of Mosaic Theatre's The Birds; Lela Elam, for her outstanding performance in Ruined at GableStage; James Danford for 30 years of outstanding work as a South Florida stage manager.

IMG_Erin_Joy_Schmidt_as__2_1_Q0768O8MAlso receiving Silver Palms are Patrick Fitzwater for his direction and choreography of Slow Burn Theatre's Side Show; Ethan Henry, for his outstanding lead performances in Palm Beach Dramaworks' A Raisin in the Sun and M Ensemble's King Hedley II; Andrew Kato for his outstanding work as producing artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Jan McArt for her outstanding work developing new plays via the Lynn University New Play Reading Series; Harriet Oser for her outstanding performance in Driving Miss Daisy at the Plaza Theatre.

Other Silver Palm honorees are artistic director Skye Whitcomb and Outré Theatre, as the year's outstanding new professional company; Nicholas Richberg for his outstanding performance in Cock at GableStage; Erin Joy Schmidt for her oustanding performances in Mad Cat's Blow Me and Other Desert Cities at Actors' Playhouse; Nicole Stodard for her challenging productions at Thinking Cap Theatre and her outstanding adaptation/production of The Rover; John Manzelli of City Theatre and Andy Rogow of Island City Stage for their coproduction of Shorts Gone Wild, the outstanding LGBT theater piece of the season; Tom Wahl for his outstanding performance in Zoetic Stage's I Am My Own Wife; Mike Westrich, for his outstanding performance in Outre Theatre's tick...tick...BOOM!.  I am also getting a Silver Palm, recognizing my 34 years of theater criticism at the Miami Herald.  And I swear I didn't suggest that to the committee.

This year's party goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 2 at Stache, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale.  Theatre League members get in free, but anyone can come for a $25 admission fee.  For more info, contact Andie Arthur at 954-557-0778 or visit the Silver Palms web site.

(Photo of Ethan Henry by the Miami Herald's Patrick Farrell; Erin Joy Schmidt photo from Mad Cat)

March 29, 2013

Sánchez to receive Abbott Award at Carbonells

05-MarioSanchez-7711Each year at the Carbonell Awards, someone is honored for his or her long-term, significant contributions to the arts in South Florida.  At the 37th annual Carbonell ceremony on Monday, the evening's highest honor -- the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts -- will be presented to Mario Ernesto Sánchez.

The founder of Miami's Teatro Avante came to the United States from Cuba on a Pedro Pan flight when he was 15.  After launching his Spanish-language company in 1979, Sánchez took on a large-scale annual challenge in 1985:  the International Hispanic Theatre Festival.  In July, he'll oversee the 28th edition of the festival at in the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and Teatro Prometeo.

Sánchez, who pays most of his bills with a busy career as a film and TV actor, has been hugely influential in elevating Spanish-language theater in South Florida.  The festival showcases adventurous, important productions from the Spanish-speaking world and beyond, and Teatro Avante has represented Miami at festivals around the world.   Sánchez has emphasized inclusion by presenting his shows with English supertitles and sometimes choosing productions that are more movement-driven than language-based.

Serious Spanish-language theater in South Florida is on the rise -- and Sánchez's festival, company and unwavering passion for his art form have plenty to do with that.

CarbonellAlso being honored during the Carbonell ceremony, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, is Actors' Equity Association.  In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the actors' union will receive the Ruth Foreman Award, named for the late South Florida theater pioneer.

A trio of students from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will receive $1,000 Carbonell scholarships to pursue education in theater or journalism.  This year's honorees are Sammi-Jack Martincak of the New World School of the Arts, Christian Frost of J.P. Taravella High School and Jade Zaroff of West Boca Community High School.

The Carbonell ceremony isn't just a one-after-the-other awards presentation, of course.  It's also an impressive show that highlights nominated musicals and plays from 2012.  This year's show and ceremony has been put together by two Zoetic Stage founders who just happen to be nominees themselves:  producer Michael McKeever, whose play Moscow is up for best new work and who got a scenic design nomination for his I Am My Own Wifeset; and director Stuart Meltzer, whose direction of Zoetic's I Am My Own Wife earned him a nomination.

IMG_quartet_3_1_O3593M2TUnder the musical direction of Caryl Fantel, the show will feature five performances by actors nominated for their work in musicals.  Vicki Lewis will sing Before the Parade Passes By fromthe Maltz Jupiter Theatre's Hello, Dolly!.  Former Miss America Kate Shindle will perform the title song from the Maltz's Cabaret.  Jodie Langel will sing I Miss the Mountains, one of her numbers in the Actors' Playhouse production of Next to Normal.  Matt Loehr, a double nominee for the Maltz's Hello, Dolly! and The Music Man, will sing Ya Got Troublefrom the latter.  And Wayne LeGette will perform The Stock Exchange Song from the Theatre at Arts Garage's production of Cabaret Verboten.

This year for the first time the Carbonell organization will be tweeting out the names of winners.  Follow those dramatic developments @CarbonellAwards.

Anyone can attend the show and ceremony, and there are still some tickets remaining.  They're $25 in advance, $35 at the door.  For tickets or information, call 954-462-0222 or visit the Broward Center web site.

(Photos show Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the Carbonell Award and the cast of Cabaret Verboten, with Wayne LeGette second from top.)



March 26, 2013

South Florida Theatre League has a racy proposition

Bed_Concept2 copyThe South Florida Theatre League wants get in bed with the arts.

The umbrella organization for theaters from Miami to Jupiter has come up with a novel campaign to ratchet up awareness of the region's theatrical riches.  Bombshell Productions is building a bed on wheels that will travel from theater to theater during the annual WLRN Summer Theatre Fest June 1-Aug. 31, stopping at different theaters before Thursday performances.  Its final destination: the Coconut Grove Bed Race on Labor Day Weekend.

The League intends to do interviews with curious theater fans, asking them about what theater and the arts mean to them.  The fans can pose for photos beside the bed or, if they're adventurous, on it.  Interviews and photos will be posted on the League's web site.

CarbonellThe bed will make an early debut on Monday before the 37th annual Carbonell Awards -- or "Theater Prom," as the glammed-up theater folks call it -- outside the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  The ceremony-show starts at 7:30 p.m., and afterwards, the bed will lead the way to the League-sponsored after party.

The full schedule of when and where the bed will appear will be released soon.  But expect it to turn up outside theaters with family-friendly fare (Slava's Snowshow at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts July 31-Aug. 25, Wind in the Willows at Sol Children's Theatre Aug. 9-25) as well as theaters with plays whose titles invite an adults-only audience (Cock at GableStage May 18-June 16, and a Mad Cat world premiere of a play about Isabella Blow Aug. 15-Sept. 1).


(Rendering of bed by Bombshell Productions; Carbonell Award statue designed by Manuel Carbonell) 


March 15, 2013

Kids and the Colony...and the Carbonells

IMG_1820 (2)Miami Childrens Theater has found a swanky professional venue for its theater summer camp:  the Colony Theater on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road.  The ambitious, very active MCT will hold its camp there from July 15 to Aug. 10, operating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, but potential campers and their parents can get a preview this Sunday during an open house from 3 to 7 p.m.

Tuition for the camp is $1,500, but some full and partial scholarships are available by audition.  South Florida actress and director Christine Vega is leading the camp program for MCT, and she'll direct the production that will be the culmination of all that the students learn:  Disney's Beauty and the Beast, running Aug. 9-10.

ChristineYou don't need to wait until the summer, though, to see what MCT's young performers can do.  The company is winding up its run of Gypsy at 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Alper JCC, 11155 SW 112th St., Miami, with tickets priced at $15.  MCT is also doing Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World at the Alper April 4-7, and Disney's The Little Mermaid at Pinecrest Gardens April 26-28. 

For information on the company or its camp at the Colony, call 305-274-3595 or visit the MCT web site.


The 37th annual Carbonell Awards, a.k.a. South Florida's "theater prom," are set for Monday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Nominees, a wide range of theater artists, company heads and the public are all invited, and tickets are now on sale.  Those tickets are $25 ($35 the day of the ceremony), with discounts for groups of 10 or more.

CarbonellPlaywright Michael McKeever and director Stuart Meltzer are putting together the show, which will feature performances from nominated musicals -- and much more.

The Broward Center is at 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. To order tickets, call 954-462-0222 or visit the Broward Center web site.

(Photos show an MCT performer, Christine Vega and the Carbonell Award, designed by sculptor Manuel Carbonell)


December 04, 2012

Theaters reap Knight Arts Challenge support

Kacm-650pxLast night, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation made South Florida artists and arts groups happy to the tune of $2.28 million.  The Knight Arts Challenge will fund 34 projects, bringing the total of arts projects funded since 2008 to 143 -- representing nearly $20 million in support for ideas to enhance the arts in the region the foundation calls home.  Those funds are part of a larger $86 million investment the Knight Foundation has made in South Florida arts, and the foundation just announced that it will invest $23 million more to extend the Knight Arts Challenge through 2015 and support projects at seven institutions.

The 34 newly revealed grants will fund projects in the visual arts, music, dance, arts education -- and seven that focus on or include theater.  The 2012 theater winners, who have to match the Knight Arts Challenge funding, are:

*Actors' Playhouse of Coral Gables, which receives $40,000 to bring 3,000 students from 8th to 12th grade to its production of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights; the experience includes study guides, discussions with the director and actors, and a rap-writing contest, with finalists performing at the Miracle Theatre.

*Miami's Centro Cultural Español, which receives $100,000 to produce 15-minute short plays in Spanish and English three times a year in intimately sized shipping containers.

* The Deering Estate Foundation, which will receive $35,000 to help create a playwright development program, retreats and a resident theater company at its historic facility.

*FUNDarte, which gets $100,000 for its Miami on Stage Knight New Works project, selecting three projects to fully produce and tour to two additional locations.

*Miami Theater Center in Miami Shores, which will receive $100,000 to help individuals and small performing arts groups develop work in its discounted 70-seat Sandbox space; those selected get marketing help, a commissioning fee, and rehearsal and performance space.

*The Project [theatre], which gets $25,000 toward developing larger-scale, immersive, site-specific theater experiences in Miami.

*Arts Garage in Delray Beach, which includes the Theatre at Arts Garage, won the Knight Arts Challenge People's Choice Award, receiving $20,000 to enhance its artistically eclectic programming.

For more information on the Knight Arts Challenge program in Miami, visit the foundation's web page.




November 27, 2012

GableStage gets NEA grant for McCraney 'Hamlet'

Theater_Antony_and_CleopatraGableStage, which will join with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and New York's Public Theater in premieringTarell Alvin McCraney's set-in-Haiti Antony and Cleopatra next season, has just been awarded a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant to support its upcoming production of Hamlet.  The 90-minute adaptation by McCraney and Bijan Sheibani, commissioned by the RSC, will run at GableStage Jan. 12-Feb. 10, then be performed free for 15,000 Miami-Dade County Public Schools students at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium in Liberty City and the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.

The NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for the Art Works grants from not-for-profit groups seeking more than $74 million in support.  GableStage's is one of 832 approved grants totalling $22.3 million.

McCraney will direct his adaptation, and he has now settled on his cast.  Edgar Sanchez will play Hamlet, with Dylan Kammerer as Horatio, James Randolph as Claudius and the Ghost, Alana Arenas as Gertrude, Peter Haig as Polonius, Ryan George as Laertes and Rosencrantz, Mimi Davila as Ophelia and Arielle Hoffman as Guildenstern and a player.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday (no evening show the first weekend).  Tickets range from $37.50-$50.  GableStage performs in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.  For information, call 305-445-1119 or visit the theater's web site.

October 29, 2012

Stage veterans, newcomers score Silver Palm Awards

SiLVERPALMPHOTOThe Silver Palm Awards are to South Florida's Carbonell Awards as Off-Broadway's Obie Awards are to Broadway's Tonys.  The five-year-old Silver Palms have " nominees, no winners or losers, and no limit to the number of citations given in any 'category,' though there really are no official categories," says playwright Tony Finstrom, the awards' chairman and founder.

In other words, the awards for excellence in local theater from Sept. 1, 2011, to Aug. 31, 2012, are more free-form than the Carbonells.  Finstrom, TV host Iris Acker and critic Ron Levitt form the Silver Palm committee, and recommendations are made by a panel of critics and theater freelancers (including me).

This year's awards will be presented during the annual holiday party held by the South Florida Theatre League.  The celebration happens Dec. 3 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at a to-be-announced Fort Lauderdale venue. Non-Theatre League members will pay an admission fee, but members party for free.  For info and reservations, call Andie Arthur at 954-577-0778; for Silver Palm details, visit the organization's web site.

Now to the winners, which for the first time include six previous Silver Palm recipients.  The year's honored directors are GableStage's Joseph Adler (for Race, Red, The Motherf**ker With the Hat and Time Stands Still), Actors' Playhouse's David Arisco (for Next to Normal and Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol), Margaret M. Ledford (for After the Revolution at the Caldwell Theatre Company, The Unseen at Promethean Theatre and Turn of the Screw at the Naked Stageand Stuart Meltzer (for his consistently outstanding work as Zoetic Stage's resident director). 

IMG_chicago_duo_5_1_UG4EA9P0The honored playwrights are Mark Della Ventura (for writing and performing Small Membership, and for his performance in Lobby Hero, both at Alliance Theatre Lab), Christopher Demos-Brown (for Captiva at Zoetic), Kim Ehly (as outstanding new playwright for Baby GirL, a Kutumba Theatre Project production at Empire Stage) and Michael McKeever (for Moscow at Zoetic).

Actors being honored with Silver Palms are Katherine Amadeo (for Naked Stage's Turn of the Screw), Jim Ballard (for All My Sons and The Fantasticks at Palm Beach Dramaworks and Side Effects at Mosaic Theatre), Ken Clement (for Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol and Becky's New Car at Actors' Playhouse and The Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Stage Door Theatre), Todd Allen Durkin (for Captiva at Zoetic, A Steady Rain at GableStage and A Measure of Cruelty at Mosaic), Lindsey Forgey (as outstanding new talent for Baby GirL at Empire Stage and Into the Woods, Urinetown and Xanadu at Slow Burn Theatre), Jodie Langel for Next to Normal at Actors' Playhouse and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Laura Turnbull (for The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds at Dramaworks, Becky's New Car at Actors' Playhouse and Death and the Maiden at Mosaic) and Gregg Weiner (for Red, A Steady Rain, Race and Time Stands Still at GableStage).

IMG__Baby_GirL__3_1_775CDV41Also being honored are set designer Michael Amico (for his Palm Beach Dramaworks designs for All My Sons, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and Master Harold...and the boys) and Fort Lauderdale's Island City Stage (as outstanding new theater company for its debut with The Twentieth Century Way at Empire Stage).

The Theatre League will also present its annual Remy Awards at the holiday celebration. Director Amy London, executive director of the Carbonell Awards, gets the Pioneer Award, and journalist Bill Hirschman gets the Service Award for his Florida Theater On Stage blog.

(Photo of Gregg Weiner and Todd Allen Durkin in GableStage's A Steady Rain; photo of Nori Tecosky and Lindsey Forgey in Kutumba Theatre's Baby GirL)




June 12, 2012

Durang, Ayvazian headline CityWrights weekend

ChristopherDurang_credit Susan JohannChristopher Durang and Leslie Ayvazian are celebrated playwrights, actors and teachers.  This Friday and Saturday, they'll draw on all that expertise as they play various roles during CityWrights, a City Theatre-sponsored conference for playwrights backed by a significant grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight Arts Challenge.

Durang, who is coming to the symposium as part of the Dramatists Guild's Traveling Masters program, is the award-winning author of such stinging, funny plays as Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Beyond Therapy, A History of the American Film, Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Miss Witherspoon (a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize), and Why Torture Is Wrong, and The People Who Love Them(produced at Plantation's Mosaic Theatre in 2009).  He and Marsha Norman co-chair the play-writing program at Juilliard, and he has acted in his own work and in 10 movies.

Ayvazian, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, is an award-winning playwright and actress who performed her solo show High Dive in 2002  for City Theatre at Miami Beach's Colony Theater (South Florida actress Barbara Sloan also did the play in 2011 at New Theatre).  Her other plays include Deaf Day, Nine Armenians and Make Me, and her acting gigs have ranged from Broadway to multiple episodes in the various Law & Order series.

Other presenters and participants in CityWrights, which was put together by City Theatre co-founder and literary director Susan Westfall, include director of the Center for the Theater Commons and HowlRoundeditor Polly Carl, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival coordinator Billie Davis, writer-musician Ivan Anderson, playwright and South Florida Theatre League executive director Andie Arthur, Atlantic Theater Company associate artistic director Christian Parker, Dramatists Guild Fund executive director Rachel Routh, literary agency head Susan Schulman, Broadway producer Joan Stein, director-writer-producer Roland Tec, former National New Play Network president and Florida Stage managing director Nancy Barnett, Samuel French literary manager Amy Rose Marsh, artistic directors Ricky J. Martinez of New Theatre and John Manzelli of City Theatre, and attorneys David H. Faux, Andrew Peretz and Steven E. Eisenberg.

0407121644At Thursday's launch party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sabadell United Bank Building, City Theatre will honor playwright Carey Crim, whose Green Dot Day won the 2012 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting.  Currently part of the Summer Shorts festival at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the play is about a couple trying hard, on schedule, to have a baby.  Fifteen other playwrights will be honored as finalists during the event.

Two days of CityWrights sessions will take place Friday and Saturday at Miami's Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, with a wrap-up Samuel French presentationn on Sunday morning. Sessions will focus on the art and business of putting up a show, the rights of playwrights, writing and creative sessions, the art of collaboration, the playwright as actor and director, submitting work and more, and Ayvazian and Durang will read from their new work Saturday evening.

The cost of attending the entire conference is $325 ($275 for Florida professionals), and City Theatre is now offering a $150 day rate for Friday or Saturday.  For information, call 305-755-9401, ext. 10, email [email protected] or visit the company's web site.