Monday, September 5, 2011

Mondays are Dark

Last week, you might have noticed that we missed your Monday reading list.  So this holiday Monday, when you might have expected there not to be a list, here's a bigger than normal list.

New Theatre News
For such a small company, New Theatre generated a lot of news this week.  First, The Drama Queen announces that they're offering a new subscription package for students. Then Florida Theatre Onstage broke the news, followed closely by The Miami Theatre Examiner and The Miami Herald.
...New Theatre was notified “about a week ago” that all but one building on the west side of the block has been sold to a developer who plans to raze the entire property in early January, Suarez said.

While the news was unexpected, the theater has been on a month-to-month lease for several years and warned they might be forced out by a procession of landlords since 2006, said Chairman of the Board Steven Eisenberg.
- Florida Theater On Stage
The company will perform its next production in its current space, and is planning on continuing operations in a new, yet-to-be-determined venue.
Suarez says that the theater’s board is working from a “short list” of spaces, some temporary, others with the potential of becoming a permanent home. Board chairman Steve Eisenberg said Sunday that the company has looked at spaces in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, and he also thinks downtown Miami or Wynwood would be good choices. He adds that, although the move is sudden, it won’t be financially disastrous.

“We’re stable, with virtually no debt,” he said. “We don’t spend what we don’t have.”
- The Miami Herald
Hopefully, the move will result in an upgrade; but New Theatre has proven they can produce excellent theatre anywhere.

Speaking of Funding
Florida Theater On Stage reprints a letter from the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council.  Call your county commissioner and remind them that for every dollar given to a theater results in eight dollars of economic benefit for the community.

A lot of South Floridians who've gone on to great success across the country are coming back to share their gifts.  Florida Theater On Stage talks with playwright Tarell Alvin McRaney, whose The Brothers Size just opened at GableStage.  It's the first production of a play by this award-winning Miami native in South Florida. Miami Artzine also has a story on McRaney. as does The Miami New TimesThe Drama Queen reports that actor Raul Esparza is coming back to the Arsht Center.  The our-time Tony nominated Esparza, who appeared in last year's Babalu, will reprise his Lincoln Center concert.  And The Miami Theater Examiner reports that Nilo Cruz will be the first Stanford Distinguished Professor in the 2011-2012 academic year at The University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Center for the Humanities

Speaking of UM

The Miracle Theater Examiner runs down upcoming shows that the Arsht Center is co-producing with local companies, the first being The House of Bernada Alba with The University of Miami.  That will be followed by two productions with the freshman Zoetic Stage, which will be mounting Christopher Demos Brown's Captiva, as well as The Santaland Diaries, featuring Michael McKeever.

Good Bank News (For a Change)
Talkin' Broadway reports that Bank of America is the title sponsor for Broadway Across America - Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

More Fallout From Florida Stage Closing

Florida Stage closed without refunding any of its subscribers or ticket-holders, and The Palm Beach County Cultural Council is doing something about it.  The Palm Beach Daily News reports that they're mailing packets to more than 1,300  Florida Stage patrons, with offers from 24 organizations to help alleviate the loss.  They range from discounts to free tickets.

Talking With...
Florida Theater On Stage interviews area actor Patti Gardner, who is still too young to play the granny role in Pippin.

But Not A Glass One
Conundrum Stages talks about its next show, The Best of Conundrum Stages: A Menagerie, which features the best of their past programs.

You Can't Please Everyone

Butts in Seats talks about audience engagement, and how far we should cater to their whims.
One of the big debates now is over the place of social media in live performances. Do you allow people to update their Twitter and Facebook posts during a show or do you try to suppress it. If people are engaged and are telling their friends about how much they enjoy the experience, that is a plus. If the glow and activity is distracting performers and audience members that is a bad thing. If people are splitting their attention between the performance and texting, that can be a negative as well.
It's An Investment
The Producer's Perspective is talking about stage readings to lure investors, but the lesson applies to much more.
Let’s use another start-up business as an example of what I’m getting at here.

If you were starting a catering company and were preparing a presentation of dishes for potential investors, would you do it in the cheapest dining room and use the cheapest ingredients?

No, you’d do your best to prepare the absolute best dishes possible, with the best china, in the best dining room . . .because you’d want potential investors to see the best you had to offer . . . not the cheapest..
Potential donors - and patrons - will only see what you present.  Every dime you spend is an investment in your work; and every penny you save isn't necessarily contributing to that investment.

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