Monday, September 10, 2012

Mondays are Dark

The Au-Rene Theatre at Broward Center, mid-renovation
Last week, someone asked me how in the world I compile this reading list; I confessed that it's simply whatever catches my eye; there's no set formula.  That's why it's so eclectic.  Of course, sometimes folks send me a link to a story; while I can't promise that I will use every story, I will certainly read it.  And if it doesn't make the list, we'll post it on Facebook, or Twitter, or actually, we'll do both.

And we say that because it was kind of a slow week.  Still looking for more "dark" shots for the banner photo, too.

Here's your Monday reading list:

It's A Mystery..Or Is It?
How could we not start out with the hottest story out there?  Florida Theater On Stage posted a three part essay on South Florida Theatre.  It's been a long time since any journalist did such a comprehensive story on the performing arts in South Florida; Hirschman references some work that Jack Zink did about a decade ago.

Part 1 takes a look at the what our theater scene is - and is not.
There is no such thing as South Florida theater. Its primary asset and its primary handicap is its vibrant and divisive diversity. Any discussion starts there.
That's to say that there's a lot of theatre in South Florida, but there isn't anything one could ascribe as being of South Florida.  Over the last 30 years or so, we have added theaters, but not an artistic identity that defines the current state of the art.

Part 2 examines the current state of theater in South Florida
The single most profound problem facing South Florida theater is that almost no one knows it’s here.

It’s not that people are choosing to do something else with their entertainment dollars or their philanthropic resources. Theater simply isn’t on the radar screen for anyone but for a sliver of the population. Theater lovers just cannot comprehend how small their niche is.
Unlike New York City, South Florida isn't a destination for theatre-goers.  And Bill's right.  Sure, a handful of people will see theater while they are here; in fact, we added the Theatre Scene's calendar after discussions in an online forum where people kept asking "what's playing near Fort Lauderdale in March?" or some such.

Part 3 outlines the specific problems we face, and offers if not solutions, at least a starting place to build them.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or even series of solutions. Some of the problems facing the Maltz Jupiter Theatre are different than those facing Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables, although they both mount large-scale musicals. The course is for each county, each community, each company to pull what works best for them from the menu of options that we’re about to explore.
We need to work together to get the word out that there is theatre in South Florida, that it's an option that's out there, all the time, every week.  We need to speak out to our elected officials and let them know that this is important.  We need to reach out to the media, and make them see that these are stories that the community should hear about.  Perhaps we need to work together; a small company may not be able to afford much advertising, but several of those small companies might be able to afford prime advertising.

Speaking of Media Events

Broadway World reports that the Arsht Center brought in food trucks for a special "opening weekend."  Box office opening, that is.

Dark Summer Leads to Bright Future
MarketWatch fills us in on what's been going at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts; their large hall (pictured above) has been undergoing renovation - and improvements.
Located on the Mezzanine Level of the Au-Rene Theater, the new Club Level offers patrons an exclusive experience. Club Level guests enjoy complimentary valet parking, open bar, hors d'ouevres, coffee and dessert, along with extra-roomy theater seats in a seating area adjacent to the lounge. With a view of the performance from the stage view windows within the lounge, guests will enjoy a truly unique theater setting.
It's baaaack
The Drama Queen reports that Naked Stage is bringing back the 24-Hour Theatre Project - to GableStage.  The event had been hosted by The Caldwell Theatre Company the last few years, but since the company is closed, Joe Adler has once again made his stage available to an outside group.

Ran Out of Gas
The Examiner reports that Laughing Gas Comedy Improv Theater Company has closed after 19 years of operations. 

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