Monday, September 30, 2013

Mondays are Dark

A quick update on Ground Up and Rising – they’ve added a performance of their production of Gruesome Playground Injuries; the final performance will be staged at Artistic Vibes, 2pm on October 6.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts offers a sneak peek at its renovated lobby, which will be officially unveiled opening night of Chicago, starring John O’Hurley.

Now here’s your Monday reading list:

Hometown Playwright Awarded

The Miami Herald reports that Tarell Alvin McRaney has just been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the Genius Grant.


Theatre in a Box. A Big Box.

BroadwayWorld takes a look at MicroTeatro Miami.

At $5 a pop, you can see as many shorts as you want in a night, each in a different storage container. A new show is a announced every 15 minutes or so, and there are fifteen shows total, all fifteen minutes in length.

Embarrassingly, we didn’t know about MicroTeatro; they haven’t listed themselves anywhere.  It wraps up this Sunday.


Early Bird Gets the Discount

A lot of theaters offers various kinds of deals on tickets; group sales, promo codes, and subscriptions are the most obvious ones. But The Miami Herald reports that The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center is offering a 15% discount on any tickets purchased by October 15.


Younger Crowd at Old School Square

The Sun-Sentinel reports on efforts by The Delray Center for the Arts at Old School Square to bring in a younger crowd.

"There's not a lot out there targeting the younger demographic, and we want to fill that gap," Ridalfo said. "It is important for the longevity of the center. We can't continually cater to an older audience and expect them to be around forever."

Honor an Arts Teacher

BroadwayWorld reports that the Broward Cultural Division is seeking nominations for outstanding teaching artists in Broward County, home of Fort Lauderdale.

To increase public awareness of the importance of arts education in our everyday lives, the Arts Teacher of the Year Program has expanded to recognize and promote not only school-based arts teachers, but also Teaching Artists working throughout Broward County schools and communities.

The deadline is October 18, so make your submissions now!


Hearken Back to Saturday Night

You may recall that New Theatre is doing a play based on the early years of Saturday Night Live, as reported in The Sun-SentinelVanity Fair has an article by legendary SNL producer Lorne Michaels, a reflection on the creation of this iconic comedy program.

The 70s began for me in 1975—on April 1, 1975, to be exact. That was the day I signed on to move to New York and begin work on a new late-night comedy/variety series for NBC. And it was going to be live. As it turns out, April Fools’ Day is the right day to start work on something like that.

And the rest, as they say, is history.


How Theaters Stimulate the Economy, #5

The New York Times takes a look at something most large theatre companies have to address during production: actor housing.

Theater companies and stage productions around the country are often obliged to house actors, directors and others from out of town. In some instances, it is a union obligation. In others, it is just the cost of doing business with a bright star.

Of course, touring productions have to house everyone working on the show; for a musical, that may mean hotel rooms for 50 to 75 people.  Then factor in transportation, meals, laundry – these are just some of the ways theaters are an economic boon to a neighborhood.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Scene for September 27, 2013

Fall is officially here, and the 2013-2014 Theater Season is under way.

Last week saw The Wick Theatre enter the scene, and this week Evening Star Productions debuts with its production of I Remain.. Jane Austen.  It only runs this weekend, so be sure to check it out.

Speaking of this weekend, The Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and The South Florida Theatre League presents From Scratch: a festival of staged readings by Miami Playwrights on Sunday, September 29, 2013 at the Deering Estate.  Florida Theater On Stage tells us a little about the plays and playwrights.

Here's what's playing on the scene this weekend.

coming and going...  

Evening Star Productions enters the theatre scene with its production of I Remain... Jane Austen.  Friday through Saturday only.

Teatro Promoteo offers Cyrano Mio this weekend only - yes, it's in Spanish.

you still haven't missed...

Kutumba Theatre Project's production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles plays at the Galleria Studio Theater through October 6.

The Broward Stage Door Theatre offers Moon Over Buffalo through October 6.

The Wick Theatre makes its entrance onto the theatre scene with The Sound Of Music. Through October 20.

You Made Me Love You plays at The Plaza Theatre through September 29.

Andrews Living Arts Studio offers An Evening of One-Acts through September 29.

GableStage offers a strong production of Sons of the Prophet at the Biltmore Hotel.  Through October 20.

The Twilight of the Golds plays at the Broward Stage Door Theatre through October 27.

last chance to see...  

Ground Up and Rising re-emerges to bring us Gruesome Playground Injuries this Sunday at Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, before it moves to Artistic Vibes through September 28.


UM's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre presents Cloud 9, through October 5.

Main Street Players present The Marvelous Wondrettes through October 13.

 for kids...
Sol Children's Theatre Troupe presents Sleeping Beauty through September 25

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Off Stage Conversations

Hello Everyone. It's Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League, and I'm here with Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at what's being talked about in the national and international theatre community. As always, I'm incredibly indebted to You Cott Mail and #2amt on twitter.

First though, a small plug -- The South Florida Theatre League administers the Playwright Development Program for Miami-Dade County's Department of Cultural Affairs. This program brings in a master playwright to teach up to four local playwrights as they develop new work over a two year period. This weekend the 2011-2013 program will end, culminating in the From Scratch Festival, with readings of four new plays at the Deering Estate. The reading of my play The Secret of the Biological Clock starts the day at noon and then is followed by readings of Flashing Lights by Edward G. Excaliber (at 2PM), Two Weekends by Susan Westfall (at 5PM) and The Cuban Spring (at 7PM). It's a great chance to see new work in progress by local playwrights!

Changes for the Helen Hayes Awards

Washington DC's annual awards show just went through an overhaul, spliting into two separate categories for larger and smaller theatres. Artistic directors seem to be happy. While TheatreWashington was hammering out the details, DC playwright Gwydion Suilebahn asked fellow artists what they would want the Helen Hayes to look like. Awards tend to bring the worst in us, but there's a lot of really interesting ideas in how people envision a better system.

Another Award

The International Center for Women Playwrights announces the winners of their 50/50 Applause Award. This award is given to theatres that have at least 50% of their plays by female playwrights and that are not female playwright focused companies. The interesting thing to consider here is to consider how few local theatres would be eligible for this.

Evolving Gay Theatre

Eric Piepenburg writes for the New York Times about how the role of gay theatre has changed in the past few decades and the problems LGBT theatres face now that fare like Angels in America is mainstream.


Non-profit Quarterly writes on how other revenue streams shouldn't substitute for donations.

Staying Local in Seattle

Brenden Kiley writes for the Seattle Stranger on how actors have stopped rushing off to NYC and LA and are starting to be able to grow their careers at home. Seattle is at the exact opposite end of the country, but the story is very similar to what is happening here.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

GableStage: Sons of the Prophet (3 reviews)

GableStage opened its production of Sons of the Prophet on September 21, 2013.
One of the best-reviewed plays of the 2011 New York season. A refreshingly honest take on how we cope with wounds that just won't heal, and the funniest play about human suffering you're likely to see. A marvelous meditation on the responsibilities we bear for the people we love, for those we don't and for society as a whole.
Joseph Adler directed a cast that included Michael Focas, Carol Caselle, Patti Gardner, Edson Jean, Michael Kushner, George Schiavone, Barbara Sloan, and Jose Urbino.

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
In an impactfully directed, superbly acted new production at GableStage, the laugh-laced drama is also touchingly insightful and resonant in that way that transcends the specifics of its story. That Sons of the Prophet made the Pulitzer shortlist isn’t surprising, given the richness of Karam’s writing.
Staged with minute attention to timing and detail by Joseph Adler, the play centers on the Douaihy family, Lebanese-Americans living in down-on-its-luck Nazareth, Pa.
Joseph is the play’s pivotal character and, thanks to an unerring and moving performance by Focas, its heart. Worried, overburdened and in pain, Joseph keeps his diminishing family together, and Focas achieves both a breezy brotherly connection with Kushner and a respectful yet frustrated one with Schavione as Joseph’s problematic elder. The attraction -- intellectual, emotional and physical -- between Focas’ controlled Joseph and Urbino’s slick reporter, is both convincing and hot. From one and all, including Carol Caselle and Barbara Sloan in multiple small roles, the acting abundantly serves the play, as do Lyle Baskin’s sets, Jeff Quinn’s lighting, Matt Corey’s sound design and Estela Vrancovich’s costumes.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Deftly-acted and directed, this inscrutable production does make you wonder if Karam’s only goal simply was to depict the existence of suffering as a facet of the human condition. Every one of his wounded characters seeks ways to cope, but it’s pretty unclear whether they find any answers over 90 minutes other than “That’s the cost of being alive.”
Once again, GableStage’s Producing Artistic Director Joseph Adler provides a textbook in invisible direction and sure pacing. 
Michael Focas creates an intriguing linchpin out of Joseph. His protagonist wants nothing more than to be left alone... Focas, who played the troubled hero of last season’s 4000 Miles, once again makes the audience root for a character who is not especially lovable.
Uncle Bill is almost a caricature as written on the page, but George Schiavone makes him a believable three-dimensional scruffy curmudgeon we all recognize from our own family get-togethers.
Gardner’s urbanite Gloria is someone completely at sea in this blue collar exile, but she’s cheerfully trying to find new landmarks to navigate by. Like Focas and Schiavone, Gardner expertly finds offbeat ways to phrase her lines so they are both hilarious and truthful.
Michael Kushner initially seems way over the top as the overtly gay brother... But once you accept that’s Karam’s choice, Kushner creates the only somewhat sane and adjusted character in the play.
 John Thomason reviewed for The Miami New Times:
Sons of the Prophet is receiving a cool, sophisticated, and seemingly flawless southeastern premiere at GableStage, where it epitomizes the brand of comically potent domestic drama the theater has focused on this season. 
Director Joseph Adler juggles Karam's many subplots and themes with characteristic deftness, pacing an intermissionless 90-minute play in what feels like an hour. His flair for directing naturalistic conversation remains virtually unparalleled in the region
Much of the effectiveness is due to Focas' comfort in the role; he wears it like his own skin — if his own skin were in nearly constant pain. In the five months since 4000 Miles, Focas' acting has blossomed in some beautiful directions, offering an elegant, understated performance rich in nuance and gesture.
Gardner is every bit his onstage equal... Gardner's three-dimensional performance taps into her character's chronic depression, channeling the anguish and delusions as well as the humor.
In fact, there isn't a rotten egg in this cast. Schiavone is bracingly authentic... Kushner is beyond delightful as Charles, nailing with gusto some of the play's funniest lines. Sloan and Caselle have a blast with their largely comic ancillary parts...
GableStage's sets are usually technical triumphs, but few creep up on you as much as Lyle Baskin's do here...  the scenic design is a lot like Sons of the Prophet itself: a multifaceted structure teeming with surprises. This is a play that looks at human suffering with a wit so effective it might be therapeutic. Expect to laugh when you least expect it.
  Sons of the Prophet plays at GableStage through October 20, 2013.

The Wick Theatre: The Sound of Music (2 reviews)

The Wick Theatre debuted on the theatre scene with its production of The Sound Of Music on September 19, 2013.
The hills are alive with this Rodgers and Hammerstein favorite. The timeless story of a young postulant sent to govern the seven children of a widowed naval captain just before World War Two, has touched the hearts of audiences everywhere. The uplifting score includes “Do-Re-Mi”, “My Favorite Things”, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, “Edelweiss”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and “The Sound of Music”.
Michael Ursua directed a cast that included Krista Severied, Tony Lawson, Lourelene Snedeker, Mia Matthews, Jeffrey Bruce, Joshua S. Roth, Renee Eliszabeth Turner, Ann Marie Olson, Katie Hensley, Avrumie Spindel, Megan Sell, Emily Elizabeth Kirschner, Alexander Lawless, Savannah Lawless and Alexa Lasanta.

Hap Erstein reviewed for Palm Beach ArtsPaper:
...skeptics will have to eat their words, based on the opening show of The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum, a very credible rendering of Rodgers and Hammerstein's final collaboration, The Sound of Music. Would that more established troupes could deliver such Broadway fare with so much assurance. 
Ursua has gathered a capable cast of area performers — or at least Florida-based performers — plus a dandy couple of Equity ringers in Krista Severeid and Tony Lawson as Maria and Georg. Spunk and a strong, ebullient singing voice are the two prime requirements for Maria and Severeid has them both in abundance.

Captain Von Trapp has always been a relatively thankless role...but Lawson makes the best with it...
The production belongs to Severeid, which is as it should be, and if The Wick does not sign her to a long-term contract, it is missing a good bet. She has fine chemistry with the Von Trapp youngsters, who are well rehearsed and refreshingly uncloying.  Credit Ursua for that...
... the standout performance comes from Lourelene Snedeker as the mother abbess, who blows the roof off the Count de Hoernle Theatre with her first act finale, Climb Ev’ry Mountain. And delivering drily the show’s measure of cynicism are Jeffrey Bruce and   on two welcome numbers dropped from the movie, How Can Love Survive and No Way to Stop It.
...if you have a hankering for The Sound of Music — as many people obviously do — you need not hesitate to come take a look at what the area's newest theater company can do. The Wick just might become one of your favorite things.

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
To answer the question that most folks are wondering after The Wick Theatre’s bow Friday night: Yes, there is a credible, substantial new player in town.

The inaugural production of The Sound of Music has the feel of a fully-realized no-excuses production because it is, indeed, a polished, three-dimensional work of theater. It bodes well for the future of a crowd-pleasing mainstream theater on the site of the former Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton.
...this production under Michael Ursua’s direction succeeded at being unabashedly sweet and sentimental without being cloying or endangering diabetics in the audience. Ursua created the rare perception that when a character breaks into song, it feels as organic as such moments are capable of in the artificial construct of musical theater.
The Wick has hired a mostly solid cast with the two Equity leads from out-of-town and most of the rest drawn from the capable ranks of local talent...
Krista Severeid... has courageously imbued this Maria with a believable sense of goodness and decency that forces you to park your 21st Century cynicism in the lobby... Severeid’s misfit postulant exuded childlike exuberance when she removed her folded arms from under her habit and sent them flying through the air to express her delight.
... the real home run of the evening. Lourelene Snedeker as the Mother Abbess simply embodies everything right about musical theater acting.... It isn’t just that she has a transcendent voice... No, start with how she invests a character with vibrance and passion while she sings. From the opening “Preludium” chorale, her face beams out of the wimple, someone transported with the joy that comes from the certain knowledge of the existence of a loving God.
...Tony Lawson, Severeid’s real life husband, was perfectly serviceable as the martinet-who-melts, Captain von Trapp. His full baritone did justice to Rodgers’ melodies
Obviously, since costumes are Wick’s claim to fame, the wardrobe is dead on. But designer Robin Buerger hasn’t simply pulled and altered costumes from a recent revival. Instead, she has selected costumes from multiple productions and had others built just for this production.
The set design and construction by Tom Hansen of Tampa was also lovely, from the mountaintop backdrop for Maria’s entrance to the marbled veranda of the von Trapp estate to the ancient arches of the abbey cloister. It may seem anal to mention it, but these sets have some of the most verisimilitude scenic painting we’ve seen in quite a while. It’s helped out by the lighting of Tom Shorrock, a former Caldwell hand.
The Wick has installed new equipment which paid off in Gerald Michaels’ crystalline sound... We’ve waxed frequently about the undeniable virtue of live music while acknowledging that some shows, like this one, need a full sound that many theaters can no longer afford. So at least acknowledge that with The Wick’s new sound system, the luxuriant full-throated tracks provided by The M Pit LLC reduce the feel of hearing canned music.
The Sound of Music plays at The Wick Theatre through October 10, 2013.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mondays are Dark

Summer officially ended yesterday, as we passed through the autumnal equinox.  We're officially in Autumn, and the Theatre Season is coming online full strength.  The Wick had a successful opening of The Sound Of Music, GableStage is getting strong feedback on Sons of the Prophet.

Today's "dark" theatre is Boca Raton's Sol Theatre, which is home to Sol Children's Theatre Troupe, and Evening Star Productions, which launches this weekend with I Remain... Jane Austen.  It's surprising how large the theatre is, given the tiny size of its lobby.

And now for your Monday reading list:

The Herald's Top Five
The Miami Herald's yearly Arts issue includes Christine  Dolen's top five plays to see this year.  With only five entries, the list still encompasses a wide range of companies and productions.

South Florida Represented
Playbill interviews South Florida native Rachel Bay Jones, currently playing Catherine in the Broadway revival of Pippin.  Rachel has appeared on numerous South Florida stages over the years.
Question: When did you start performing?
Jones: I was 12 years old. My parents were Shakespearean actors in New York. They [later] opened up health food stores and had a family. My mother and father both started doing regional theatre in South Florida occasionally. My mom had a script open for something she was auditioning for, and I saw in the script there was a part for a 13-year-old heavyset girl, and I said, “I want to audition!” And my mother said, "You’re not heavyset, and you’ve never done anything before." [Laughs.] I was the shy kid with the book. So my nana, who had been a dressmaker, built me a padded dress, so I would look heavy, and I went to the audition and booked the job and my mom didn’t.… They were surprised to know that I wasn’t a little chubby kid, so they used my nana’s padded underclothes as part of my costume in the play. That was it, and then I just kept doing it. It was fun and rewarding.
Her parents are Dennis and Mona Jones, who were all over the South Florida theatre scene in the 70s and 80s.  In fact, in 1989 Rachel and Mona were both nominated for a Carbonell Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

So Now You Know
The Ramblings of a Techie brings us The Actors' Vocabulary; a tongue-in-cheek guide to the jargon unique to life on the stage.  And there's even an entry relevant to Dark days:
DARK NIGHT: a night before opening when no rehearsal is scheduled so the actors and crew can go home and get some well-deserved rest, and instead spend the night staring sleeplessly at the ceiling because they’re sure they needed one more rehearsal.

Meanwhile... Palm Beach, The Royal Poinciana Playhouse is still closed.  The Palm Beach Daily news  reports that in addition to updating electrical and plumbing, the theatre will need replace - and reduce - its current seating.
The 55-year-old landmarked theater’s “seating area and means of egress need to be completely remodeled to comply with code as the slope of the floor is currently steeper than allowed,” said Keith Spina, architect for Playhouse landlord Sterling Palm Beach, in a Feb. 6 letter to town Building Official Jeff Taylor and Fire Marshal Tim Pompos. In addition, the theater seating area and all restrooms “need to be completely remodeled to comply with accessibility requirements,” Spina wrote.
The current owner of the building, Sterling Palm Beach, still says they are negotiating a lease with the National Arts Institute.  There's finally a familiar face on their website: Karen Poindexter, who produced shows for the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ground Up and Rising: Gruesome Playground Injuries (2 reviews)

Ground Up and Rising opened its production of Gruesome Playground Injuries at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens on September 15, 2013, and then relocated the production to Artistic Vibes for the remainder of the month of September.
Two eight-year-olds’ lives collide in the nurse’s office: Doug rode his bike off the roof and Kayleen can’t stop throwing up. As they mature from accident-prone kids to self-destructive adults, their broken hearts and broken bones draw them ever closer. These two rebels may only be fit for one another. But how far can one person go to heal another’s wounds?
Arturo Rossi directed a cast that featured Sheaun McKinney and Valentina Izarra.

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Rising’s sad and ultimately moving production of the somewhat murky script for Gruesome Playground Injuries, the answer may be “not at all.”
Even with a classroom whiteboard announcing their ages and locations between each scene, this shattered arc is difficult to follow. But the trick is just to sit back and let it wash over you. By the time they get to the last scene – finally one occurring in chronological order – Joseph’s vision will be clear.

That’s credited directly to the director Arturo Rossi, co-founder of this ragtag shoestring company performing around Miami. He knows where this play means to go and deftly adds brushstrokes all evening until he completes the portrait. He’s hampered by Joseph’s script which is so elliptical and often too prosaic to hold the audience’s attention. But the show still carries a slow-moving wallop because of him and his cast.
These are difficult roles because the characters as written are too quirky to be completely believable, yet McKinney and Izarra succeed in investing both with a mercurial array of emotions.
McKinney, a veteran of Ground Up’s troupe, has an imposing muscular, loose-limbed physicality of gentle genial giant, but he has the capability of erupting scorching lava. The sole quibble is that he sometimes speaks a little too quietly and little mush-mouthed. Izarra has a dancer’s grace and emits the aura of a tortured soul who long ago gave up on any hope of a genuine relationship with anybody. As per the script, they don’t exude any romantic chemistry, but there is a sense of kindred spirits cautiously trying to make connections but shying away before consummating emotionally.
We saw this play at 2nd Stage in New York starring Pablo Schreiber (The Wire) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter). While the play had more polish and plausibility there under Scott Ellis’ direction, the work here by Rossi, Izarra and McKinney actually lands a far more emotional punch.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
With Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries, the company has found an intimate, challenging play for its newest venue. Director and Ground Up cofounder Arturo Rossi has a strong two-person cast in Sheaun McKinney (another Ground Up founder who was, like Rossi, featured on the first season of TV’s Graceland) and Valentina Izarra.
Each scene is a snapshot, a device underscored by director Rossi as a wordless photographer who captures the place (hospital, school, psychiatric ward) and time of each encounter. Moving gracefully in a choreographed way, the actors achieve their time-traveling simply...
Izarra is very much the adult actress playing a kid in the childhood scenes, but her Kayleen impressively ripens into a furious, damaged, self-destructive woman. McKinney brings just enough rough-and-tumble whimsy to little Dougie, and he makes the grown-up Doug’s longing for Kayleen, the character’s belief in her healing powers, utterly convincing.
Ground Up and Rising presents Gruesome Playground Injuries at Artistic Vibes through September 28, 2013. They've added a matinee on October 6.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Scene for September 20, 2013

 A lot of great shows are opening this week, but we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that the biggest opening this week is the debut production of The Wick Theatre, which re-opens the former home of the Caldwell Theatre Company to theatre patrons.

They have chosen to open with The Sound Of Music.  A few familiar faces will be found, along with some new blood.  It bodes well for the future, if only Marilyn can find an artistic director to keep the company on track.

But we also must point out that this is the only weekend you'll be able to catch Outré Theatre Company's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  It's been a while since there was such a choice of theatre in Boca Raton.

Here's what's playing on the scene this weekend.


The Wick Theatre makes its entrance onto the theatre scene with The Sound Of Music. Through October 20.

You Made Me Love You opens at The Plaza Theatre, through September 29.

Andrews Living Arts Studio offers An Evening of One-Acts through September 29.

The Twilight of the Golds opens at the Broward Stage Door Theatre through October 27.

GableStage opens Sons of the Prophet at the Biltmore Hotel.  Through October 20.

coming and going...  

Outré Theatre Company offers a concert version of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Mizner Park's Black Box Studio this Friday through Sunday only.

you still haven't missed...   
Ground Up and Rising re-emerges to bring us Gruesome Playground Injuries this Sunday at Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, before it moves to Artistic Vibes through September 28.

Kutumba Theatre Project's production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles plays at the Galleria Studio Theater through October 6.

The Broward Stage Door Theatre finally got Moon Over Buffalo up on their website. In fact, it looks like they've totally re-vamped their website.  It's much better than it was.  When you get to the splash page, follow the link to "Browad."  Through October 6.

last chance to see...  

Empire Stage winds up its limited run of  The Silence of the Clams this Sunday, September 22.


Sol Children's Theatre Troupe presents Sleeping Beauty through September 25

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Off Stage Conversations

Hello, it's Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League, and I'm here with Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at what the national and international theatre community is thinking about.

On the Death of the Pure Aesthetic
The pure aesthetic has created a monoculture called the American theater—two act dramatic realism by white playwrights with white actors watched by white audiences with a talkback after the show thrown in for anybody still awake.

The pure aesthetic is death to diversity of thought, image, performance, practice.

Believing in the pure aesthetic is like believing that a market economy is the one and only economy. And we are marketing in an economy of the pure aesthetic and the result: theater isn’t for everyone; it’s for those with a solid standing in that market economy.
Another really smart article from Polly Carl


Playwright Monica Byrne posts a really great piece about all the opportunities she hasn't gotten as a playwright, pointing out that all those rejections were critical steps towards her current success (multiple productions and her novel is being published). Melissa Hillman points out why this outlook is crucial.

Changing the Status Quo

Any article that starts out with an artistic director stating that most theatre is boring gets my attention. Sean Holmes of the UK's Secret Theatre breaks down what he views as problematic in the current theatrical infrastructure and what he's doing that's different.

Boards are Bored

Joan Lancourt discusses board best practices.

Funding Issues

Diane Ragsdale looks at funding dilemmas from the point of view of the funder.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mondays are Dark

This week's "dark" theater is a venue that has been dark for awhile, but is about to re-open under new management.  The Countess De Hoernle's name remains on the exterior of the building, but it's now the home of The Wick Theater.

We'll be the first to admit that we've been doubtful, but now the names are starting to surface, and they are the right names: James Danford is stage managing their first production, Lourelene Snedeker is cast as the Mother Abbess, and Michael Leeds and Norb Joerder are scheduled to direct shows later in the season.

Let's Start With The Wick
Did you think it was a coincidence that we featured The Wick?  They recently hosted an event to woo the former Caldwell patrons, and it was attended by local press - and Jan McArt.  Florida Theater On Stage delves into the business plan of The Wick, and posts a slide show.  Meanwhile The Examiner (or Broadway Global, or Theater Chat, or whoever Richard Cameron is trying to be this week) spent more time detailing the upcoming productions. The Palm Beach Post was also there, but virtually everything is behind their pay wall.  So if you're a subscriber, click through, if not, don't bother.  Boca Magazine published three paragraphs, but didn't make last week's event.  Palm Beach ArtsPaper spoke with Marilyn Wick last month, and you can read the whole thing free.

Speaking of Palm Beach
BroadwayWorld reminds us that Palm Beach Dramaworks will open its production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men on October 11.  J. Barry Lewis directs a cast that includes John Leonard Thompson(George), Brendan Titley (Lennie), Paul Bodie, Cliff Burgess, Frank Converse, Dennis Creaghan, Betsy Graver, Christopher Halladay, Wayne Steadman, and Ricky Waugh.

Live, from Not Quite Doral...
The Sun-Sentinel reports that New Theatre has cast Miami Marlin's president David Samson in their upcoming premiere of Not Ready For Primetime, a play about the beginnings of Saturday Night Live.  Samson will portray the show's producer, Lorne Michaels.

They Should Do Gypsy
BroadwayWorld reports that Boca Raton Theatre Guild will be mixing it up this season, mounting productions at several venues, including its usual home, the Willow Theater.  But they're also doing shows at The Studio at Mizner Park, The Township Center in Coconut Creek, and  Andrews Living Arts Studios.  They'll kick off with They're Playing our Song in early November, then it's Marilyn: Forever Blonde in late November, Respect opens in December, Pippin in January, David Mamet's The Anarchist in February, and Everyday Rapture in April.   

Photos from Jupiter
From the town in Palm Beach County, not the planet.  The Palm Beach Post's community blog has an update on the renovations and additions being done on The Maltz Jupiter Theatre - including a photo.

Congratulations - GET OUT.
Last year, Washington DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company was honored with the Regional Theatre Tony Award.  Now, the Washington Post reports that they are struggling to stay in their home, the Landsburgh Theater.  It seems their landlord, who sought the company out back when they were developing their building, now wants 6 times the rent.  It seems they were only required to foster a theater in its building for 20 years.  And now that the time is up, they want that space back.  It's a cautionary tale for those seeking to redevelop The Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Want to Work in the Wings?
Florida Theater On Stage fills us in on the Stage Production program at Sheridan Technical Institute; it's designed to train stagehands for professional theater.

Save the NEA's Budget
Once again, Congress is talking about slashing the budget of the National Endowment of the Arts.  It's important to understand that NEA grants are actually a lynchpin for fundraising.  In other words, the money that will be lost is not just the NEA grant.  Most companies receive MATCHING grants; for every dollar they get from the NEA, they may raise as much as NINE dollars.  So if the proposed cut of $71 million goes through, the loss to the Arts will actually exceed $630 million.  This will savage the arts industry, and will also leave a gaping hole in the local economies of the companies in question.  The Arts tends to have a ten-fold effect on the economy; for every dollar spent on the arts, ten dollars of economic stimulus occurs.  Name another industry that does THAT.  Please sign the petition.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stage Door Theatre: Moon Over Buffalo (3 reviews)

The Broward Stage Door Theater opened its production of Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo on August 30, 2013.
A farce by the author of Lend Me A Tenor about a warring couple of over-the-hill Broadway stars performing Private Lives and Cyrano de Bergerac in a small regional theater in a last bid to resurrect their careers.
Michael Leeds directed a cast that included Ken Clement, Michelle Foytak, Jessica Carmen, Glen Lawrence, Susan Slotorof, Edward Miskie, Andy Quiroga, and Mike Edelman.

Dale King wrote for Palm Beach ArtsPaper:
The Moon over Buffalo cast is perfectly attuned to the requirements of this sometimes out-of-control play. Keeping the actors strapped to the stage is director Michael Leeds, who honed his skills on Broadway before coming south to Florida.
The program is a festival of fine acting, with Clement, a well-heeled thespian, leading the way... A skilled and savvy performer, he brings a charming, Jackie Gleason-like quality to the stage.
Foytek, in her debut at Broward, also runs the gamut from calm to crazy and brings great acting
Slotoroff truly shows her funny side... Andy Quiroga brings a pleasing demeanor to the stage...

Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Thanks to director Michael Leeds and his deft cast, Stage Door Theatre’s new production of Moon Over Buffalo ticks away expertly from start to finish.
Leeds and the actors, dressed in period (and theatrical) finery by costume designer Peter Lovello, load the production with all sorts of slapstick touches. Though physically he isn’t the dashing type, Clement masterfully delivers the humor, ego and honest regret that are George’s current lot in life. When a discouraged George leaps off the wagon, Clement plays the character’s increasingly drunken behavior as though he’s executing an intricately choreographed dance

His cast mates are quite good, particularly Edelman as the now-I-hear-you, now-I-don’t Ethel; Quiroga as the still-besotted Paul, and the droll Lawrence as the dull but well-heeled lawyer.
Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
It’s not the five slamming doors nor the de rigueur Marx Brothers chases nor even the rapier repartee that make Broward Stage Door’s farce Moon Over Buffalo an enjoyable afternoon laughing at the foibles of vainglorious creatures who, of course, bear no relation to our own imperfections.
It’s the cast’s unflagging energy portraying an over-the-hill theatrical troupe, the extra topspin actors give a put-down, a half-beat of comic timing on a hoary line and scores of bits of business forgotten a moment later but which imbue the show with a sense of fine-grained craft.
...director Michael Leeds and a cast of clowns led by Ken Clement and Michelle Foytak apply combined decades of acquired skill to one of the more solid comedies that Stage Door has mounted in several seasons.
But inexplicably, this production underscores that door slamming farce just isn’t as inherently funny in the 21st Century as it used to be. Even revivals of Michael Frayn’s sublime Noises Off don’t land as solidly as they used to. Maybe the nature of comedy has changed, although I wouldn’t argue that with Aristophanes or Mel Brooks. Fortunately, Stage Door wisely has Leeds to helm this. The veteran comedy director knows how to stage a pratfall but also how to find the humor in the collision of characters.
Some people wonder if Clement has us on his payroll, given the laurels we’ve bedecked him with in recent years.  But once again, he displays acting chops that convincingly portray a range from cartoonish caricatures to recognizable woebegone schlubs. (The fact that he is perfectly capable of dramatic roles is just gravy). His George is volcanic, childish, manic, needy, resilient, weak – and under it all, sympathetic. That may be part of his secret: There’s a genial guy you’d want to take to dinner whether he’s playing a Russian clerk going mad or a forlorn theatrical booking agent or Santa Claus, which he’s slated to do in the upcoming national tour of Elf!

Edelman, a Stage Door veteran with perfect timing, grounds the mother-in-law’s inbred plummy theatrical timbre with a welcome vinegary edge.

David Torres’ design for the green room is as a delightfully dilapidated as the troupe it houses, with faded mismatched furniture cadged from various productions, props from forgotten productions strewn around the premises and walls bearing posters from not so inestimable productions past.

Moon Over Buffalo isn’t comedy gold, but in the hands of Leeds, Clement and company, it’s approaching silver.
 The Broward Stage Door Theater production of Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo plays through October 6, 2013

Kutumba Theatre Project: The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (5 reviews)

Kutumba Theatre Project opened its production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles at the Galleria Studio Theater on September 6, 2013.
Set in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles celebrates the era when 'the love that dares not speak its name' began breaking the old rules...set in the 1950’s, fueled by booze and furtive sex, follows the lives and loves of Laura, Beth and Beebo as they navigate uncharted territories of desire.

Based on the novels by Ann Bannon
written by Kate Moira Ryan & Linda S. Chapman
Kim Ehly directs a cast that features Niki Fridh, Rayner Gabriel Garranchan, Christina Groom, Blaze Powers, Matt Stabile, and Sandi M. Stock

The Sun Sentinel condescendingly relegates theatre reviews to Your Gay Boyfriend Blog:
The Beebo Brinker Chronicles never attains the good, ol’, lurid trashiness of the lesbian-themed pulp novels by author Ann Bannon that inspired the play.

That’s a shame, because most of the cast seems up to the job of having some sensationalized, soap-operatic fun with the script...
Director Kim Ehly does her best to draw out some sort of mob-versus-snob appeal, mashing up theatuh effects (such as period-perfect costumes and wry, witty pop songs bridging scenes together) with cheesy noir narration right out of Raymond Chandler. But the required melodrama to support it all just isn’t there in the writing.
Fridh and Groom (who totally nails two other roles) seem to vibrate in the same frequency as, say, a lush Douglas Sirk movie, which may have been the intent here, with the genre’s snappy dialogue, bitchy humor, hot breath, parted lips, heaving breasts and furtive gropes. When Fridh and Groom are the center of the action, the play seems to slip into sharp focus. When they are not, it’s harder to see not only where “Beebo Brinker” is going, but why.
John Thomason reviewed for Boca Magazine:
This play is bawdy and salacious, full of suggestive language, sexual situations, even a little nudity – all for a cause that is both winningly witty and emotionally sensitive.
As the characters love, fight, drink and reminisce across Tyler K. Smith’s spartan, utilitarian set design, Ehly directs the action with breezy pacing and cinematic ambience.
...Ehly and her cast are their best when they make the pulpy, half-century-old diction sound positively modern. As Beebo, Fridh is marvelous, a case study of invisible naturalism. Her Beebo is a creature of the forbidden night, one who only feels comfortable with a cigarette in one hand and a tumbler in the other, and Fridh has mastered her character’s lascivious glances and fearless swagger. Her acting chops are matched by Stabile – Fridh’s real-life husband, incidentally. Jack begins the play as a suave wag who sounds like he drifted in from a Fitzgerald novel, but Stabile eventually breaks down the caricature to reveal a surprising vulnerability and an infectious pathos.

Stock and Garranchan don’t far as well. The playwrights’ dialogue sounds especially arch when these two actors speak it, and their lack of chemistry together is a little too palpable – even when their characters’ relationship is supposed to be on the fritz.
Christina Groom is amusing and effectively gonzo in three parts, playing a lecherous pulp novelist and a plastered partygoer in addition to Marci; in each one, she leaves an indelible impression. And Powers is a compelling Laura, portraying her character’s coming of age like a naïve wallflower blooming into a fully realized bouquet.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
The Kate Moira Ryan-Linda S. Chapman play... is the second show from Fort Lauderdale’s Kutumba Theatre Project, an LGBT-friendly company run by Kim Ehly. The script isn’t as strong as Ehly’s own Baby GirL, Kutumba’s memorable debut production. Yet in new digs at the Galleria Mall’s Galleria Studio Theatre... director Ehly and a strong cast mine Beebo Brinker for not only its noir-style humor but for the sobering, resonant truths about the characters’ search for happiness in a judgmental world.
Told in cinematically short scenes, the play powers through its weak spots thanks to Kutumba’s engaging cast. Powers makes the beautiful Laura a kind of everywoman’s fantasy, a dream dame who moves from loss, longing and a kind of naiveté to a sophisticated life of consensual adventure. As Beth, Stock isn’t nearly as compelling, though her scenes with Garranchan as Beth’s marriage implodes are effectively intense. Garranchan is playing a cliché of a man, a traditional hubby who can’t fathom why his sexually disinterested wife just can’t clean more and do a better job of bonding with their kids. Yet the actor finds dramatic depth in Charlie’s endless frustration, enriching each of his scenes.

Fridh’s Beebo is both commanding and alluring, a tough gal who is as needy and vulnerable as anyone, despite her contention that nothing in the game of love (or sex) really matters. Stabile (Fridh’s real-life hubby) is charming and funny as Jack, Laura’s pragmatic pal, and Groom gets to flaunt her versatility by playing roommate Marcie, slutty Lili and novelist Nina.
Tyler K. Smith’s minimalist gray set design allows for multiple playing areas but doesn’t anchor the piece, and Sean Cutler’s too-stark lighting doesn’t always fit with the mood of a scene. Yet the costumes by Ehly and Melanie Garbo supply plenty of color and period-evocative style, and the sound design by Nicole Stodard and David Hart -- particularly the scene-bridging songs of the era --reinforces the play’s themes.
 Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
The question nagging Kutumba Theatre Project’s The Beebo Brinker Chronicles was what did it want to be? Farce? Drama? Satire? Soap opera? A lampoon of 1950’s pulp novels? An homage to 1950’s pulp novels? None of the above? Most likely, all of the above.

Chronicles wasn’t awful; it just didn’t gel. At one point, a character says, “It’s hard to take a walking, talking cliché seriously.” Precisely.
Whatever grooves the playwrights and Ehly were trying to create, only two of the six actors came close to convincingly inhabiting them: Fridh’s archetypical Beebo and Groom as a trio of characters including the not-too-bright roommate. Groom, as a dissolute party guest, nails the tone when she holds out an unlit cigarette and asks someone, “So, I have to find my own flint and rock?”
Otherwise, while the entire earnest cast was trying hard, most of the acting was more wooden than a Louisville slugger, baby, as Beebo would say. The leaden sledgehammer dialogue didn’t help.
Among the stronger aspects was the period costuming by Melanie Garbo and Ehly.  Also, the sound design by Nicole Stodard and David Hart enhanced the scenery changes with wry choices of pop hits from the ‘50s that commented on the action in the previous scene.
 Roger Martin reviewed for miamiartzine:
...what you get in Kutumba Theatre Project’s latest production is an ambitious staging of a play based on the lesbian oriented novels of the fifties when garish covers were de rigeur and snickers abounded.
As directed by Kim Ehly, ‘pulp’ and ‘noir’ are the constant themes throughout the Beebo Brinker Chronicles. Actors read the overly dramatic lines from the books as some of the many scenes are played out, with assistant director Nicole Stodard and sound designer David Hart providing the appropriate background music (ah, that sultry, lonely sax) that adds to the overall cartoonish effect. When this slightly over the top style works, it works beautifully.  Pulp indeed.  And much appreciated by the packed house. 
And the actors?  Top of the list are Niki Fridh and Christina Groom.  Fridh as Beebo flaunts her masculinity but cannot hide her vulnerability, and Groom as Marcie/Lili/Nina delights with each carefully delineated character.  The less experienced Blaze Powers does well with the role of Laura, as she travels from innocent to jaded lover and Sandi M. Stock handles the difficult role of Beth, the girl who cannot make up her mind.  Matt Stabile as Jack, the ageing gay man who settles for convenience rather than love gets it right. The normally exuberant Rayner G. Garranchan has to pull back with the thankless role of Charlie, the argumentative straight man.
A deceptively simple monochrome set in gray by Tyler K. Smith offers bedrooms, night clubs, even a railroad station.  And a word here about the excellent vintage costuming by Melanie Garbo and Kim Ehly.  Well, three words, actually:  white pointed brassiere.  Nice attention to detail, as with all the apparel.
The Beebo Brinker Chronicles... will entertain more than just the LGBT audiences. It’s a worthwhile sophomore effort by Kim Ehly and her Kutumba Theatre Project...
Kutumba Theatre Project opened its production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles at the Galleria Studio Theater this weekend, through October 6.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Scene for September 13, 2013

We're halfway through hurricane season, and halfway through the limbo that separates the summer theatre season from the regular theatre season.  We've got more shows this week than last week, and we have a slew of shows opening next week

A sneak peak at next week's offerings: Outre Theater will perform a concert version of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Wick Theater makes its debut with The Sound Of Music, and GableStage opens Sons of the Prophet, by Stephen Karam.

Here's what's playing on the scene this weekend.


Empire Stage opens The Silence of the Clams this weekend, for a brief run through September 22.

you still haven't missed...   
Ground Up and Rising re-emerges to bring us Gruesome Playground Injuries this Sunday at Miami Beach Botanical Gardens, before it moves to Artistic Vibes through September 28.

Kutumba Theatre Project's production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles plays at the Galleria Studio Theater through October 6.

The Broward Stage Door Theatre finally got Moon Over Buffalo up on their website. In fact, it looks like they've totally re-vamped their website.  It's much better than it was.  When you get to the splash page, follow the link to "Browad."  Through October 6.


The Pelican Playhouse presents Greater Tuna through September 15.

Sol Children's Theatre Troupe presents Sleeping Beauty through September 25

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Off Stage Conversations Returns

Hello, this is Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League and I'm back with Off Stage Conversations, where I take a look at interesting blog posts and discussions from the national and international theatre community. It's been a two month hiatus, given the complications of Summer Theatre Fest, so I have quite a few articles to share.

Happy New Fiscal Year

As an organization, look at creating new fiscal year resolutions the way you create personal new years resolutions. Some suggestions are provided -- I particularly like asking "When was the last time you made an effort to fall in love with your audience?"

Should the United States have a Secretary of Culture?

The Atlantic takes a look at the idea.

Artists in the Office

We often have very stark lines between artists and administrators in arts organizations. And often times, when you already have an artist in an administrative position, they aren't allowed to act as an artist. James Carter asks why.

Agent of Change

If you are going to do anything of lasting value to impact human beings with your work, you have to know what your business is. Just because your job is in the theatre, doesn’t automatically mean you get to be an agent of change.
Why Comparing Your Organization to Other Organizations Might Not Be a Great Idea

We're in a business that loves case studies. Colleen Dilenschneider offers insight on why information overload may not be the best idea.

Marketing Ideas and Statistics

- Jeff Fromm has a piece on Branding and Millennials and why some of your misconceptions may not be helping you.
- Data on why having mobile friendly email blasts is important.
- What has a higher ROI -- advertising in the New York Times or on Facebook?
- The Future of Group Sales? Center Theatre Group creates a facebook app to coordinate theatre going.
- Expired Trends That Will Date Your Website

Fundraising Ideas

- Spend More Time Away from Your Desk
- Making the Second Ask -

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mondays are Dark

If you need any proof that summer is over, it's the number of stories coming out about the upcoming theater season.  The South Florida Theatre Season really starts in October, but you'll see a handful of plays opening the next few weeks, and there are a few shows still lingering from the summer.

We are re-instituting the Sun-Sentinel into our reading, for now.  Broward companies, as small as they are, need the coverage, and since the Sentinel is letting Rod Hagwood write stories, we'll start including them.  We still wish he'd learn to write reviews.  And we're disappointed that many of these stories are in his gay life column; after all, straight people like theater, too.  Yes, even the musicals.

Speaking of musicals
The Miami Herald reports that Book of Mormon tickets went on sale today at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  This is expected to sell out quickly.

Theater is a Growth Industry in Jupiter
Florida Weekly reports that the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has broken sales records for single-ticket and subscriptions for this coming season.  You know, the one that hasn't happened yet.  But it's not just the number of patrons that's expanding this coming season:
The record-breaking sales come as the Maltz is preparing to reopen after renovations and an expansion that will add 62 new seats that will be part of an upstairs club level lounge. This secondfloor renovation will include a private entrance, glass elevator, and expanded lobby, bar and restrooms, all adjacent to the new seats. Additional executive offices also will be added to this floor.

Too Big for the Gables
The Drama Queen brings us up to date on Tarell Alvin McRaney's Anthony and Cleopatra, a co-production between GableStage, The Royal Shakespeare Company, and New York's Public Theater.  It debuts at the RSC's Swan Theater in Strattford-on-Avon, then GableStage will present it at The Colony Theater, before it moves on to New York.  Why The Colony? Seating capacity.  Not simply because the play may garner more attention because of its international connections, but to accommodate Miami-Dade County students, who will be bused in to see it for free.

Speaking of Getting Bigger
Florida Theater On Stage reports that Thinking Cap Theatre is not only increasing its programming, and opening a new space, but it's growing the company as well.
Stodard is ramping up to the challenges by expanding the staff. The new managing director will be Mark Duncan, Assistant Director for the Division of Performing & Visual Arts and Associate Professor/Chair of Theatre & Arts Administration at Nova Southeastern University. The new director of education is Scott Douglas Wilson, who serves on the faculty of New World School of the Arts. Veteran actress Carey Brianna Hart will be the resident stage manager, and Renee Elizabeth Turner will serve as music coordinator.
It's great news for the community, and a good sign that things are turning around for the theatre scene.

And More Growth
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Sol Children's Theatre has re-branded itself as The Sol Theatre, which consists of the Sol Children's Theatre and a more mature company, Evening Star Productions.  Its first show will be I Remain... Jane Austen, and opens September 27.

Say, What's Avi Up To?
The Jewish Week catches up with Avi Hoffman, who's been performing his Still Jewish After All These Years at Stage 72 in the Upper West Side of Manhattan through October 23.

Theater: It's What Makes Us Human
The Atlantic argues that mankind is what it is today because it discovered theatre. 
Charles Darwin proposed two theories of evolution: natural selection and sexual selection.  To affect species-wide change, a trait essentially has to help you live or get laid.

Let’s look first at survival: Among the many things that set humans apart from other animals is our capacity for counterfactual thinking. At its most basic level, this means we can hypothesize what might happen if we run out of milk; in its most elaborate form—we get War and Peace. Stories, then, are complex counterfactual explorations of possible outcomes: What would happen if I killed my landlady? What would happen if I had an affair with Count Vronsky? How do I avoid a water buffalo? According to Denis Dutton, these “low-cost, low-risk” surrogate experiences build up our knowledge stores and help us adapt to new situations. (“Mirror neuron” research indicates that our brains process lived and read experiences almost identically.)  A good “cautionary tale," for example, might help us avert disaster. Stories can also provide useful historical, scientific, cultural and geographical information. Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines illustrates this on two tiers: In armchair-travel fashion, the book acquaints readers with the Australian Outback, while simultaneously describing how Aboriginals sang stories walking at a specific pace so that geographical markers within the story would guide their journey.
-- Jennifer Vanerbes, The Evolutionary Case for Great Fiction, The Atlantic, September 5, 2013
Heck, we'll buy that for a dollar!

Speaking of Arts for Survival
Butts In Seats suggests that arts organizations should talk up how the arts makes learning easy; if you partake of the arts in your daily life, you'll soon find that you've been learning all kinds of things along the way.  Which kind of builds on what The Atlantic article was talking about.

Speaking of Talking About...
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has a story about the difficulties facing a theater critic:
While groups of people stand around at intermission talking about the first act, critics usually stay at least somewhat detached from the conversation, especially if another critic is involved. I often have to find a polite way to extricate myself from a group when people start pressing me for my thoughts halfway through a show. I have my opinions, but it’s not the right time to express them.
Me, I try not to press the critics about their impressions of the show while we're at the show.  I don't like to influence them.  Although I do recall one critic (no longer reviewing in our area) who pressed me for an opinion, and then similar wording appeared in his review. Did we simply share the same view?  Would he have written the same words if we had not spoken?  We'll never know, and that's Jay's point, I think.

Speaking Out

HowlRound holds a round table discussion with Will Power,,Polly Carl, Paula Vogel, and south Florida's Teo Castellanos. 
...Will, I wonder if you’ll start things off with us today and talk about what motivated you to recently publish an open letter regarding your decision to turn down an opportunity to work in Florida as resident artist at Atlantic Center for the Arts following Florida’s upholding of the “Stand Your Ground” statute. Why did you draw the line at Florida? I think of the fact that you work in Texas, and there are some things that go on in Texas that you could have said, “Oh, I’m not going to work in Texas.” Talk a little bit about what motivated you and why the open letter?
It's an interesting read about artistic integrity, and the choices we are faced with.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Scene for September 6, 2013

It's finally September.  Wasn't it just June?  This summer went FLYING past.  We still have a few weeks to go in hurricane season, and the summer theater season is past.  But theater doesn't really have a season, does it?

And truthfully, we have 52 weeks of plays here in South Florida.  Hard to believe, but it's true.  Sure, this week we're down to a handful of plays, and you haven't heard of most of them.  But frankly, it's a fascinating offering. Kutumba and Ground Up and Rising have always done excellent and provocative work.

Here's what's playing on the scene this weekend.


Kutumba Theatre Project opens its production of The Beebo Brinker Chronicles at the Galleria Studio Theater this weekend, through October 6.

Ground Up and Rising re-emerges to bring us Gruesome Playground Injuries at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens this Sunday and next.  It then moves to Artistic Vibes the last two weekends in September.

you still haven't missed...   
The Broward Stage Door Theatre finally got Moon Over Buffalo up on their website. In fact, it looks like they've totally re-vamped their website.  It's much better than it was.  When you get to the splash page, follow the link to "Browad."  Through October 6.

Though we were kidding, didn't you?

coming and going...  

The Cuban Museum presents Yesenia Selier in Orishas, this Saturday and Sunday only.

Pelican Playhouse presents Greater Tuna, through September 15.