Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brian C. Smith Exits the Stage.

The Miami Herald reports that Brian C. Smith, who was prominent in the South Florida Theatre Scene in the 70's and 80's, has passed away at age 70.
Smith, 70, was an actor, director and theatrical entrepreneur who started three for-profit Broward County theater companies: the Sea Ranch Dinner Theatre in 1972, the Oakland West Dinner Theatre in 1977 and the Off-Broadway on East 26th Street Theatre in Wilton Manors in 1988. He also served for several years as producer-director of the Carbonell Awards, which honor the best work in South Florida theater, and in 1992 received the Carbonells' George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.
A more detailed obituary can be found on South Florida Theater Review:
He proudly produced commercial flypaper-thin comedies while bankrolling thought-provoking dramas. He was adored by many colleagues and fell out with others to the point of litigation. He drove a Rolls Royce when his finances allowed but stored possessions at friends’ homes when cash was scarce.
And over 30 years, he helped transform South Florida stage culture from predominantly dinner theater to the beginning of its national reputation for serious theater.

There was a time when almost every production featured someone who had worked for Smith.  His theater, along with the Jupiter Theater under Richard Akins and Jan McArt's Royal Palm Dinner Theater, kept a sizable acting community employed.

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