Nationally-known impresario Zev Buffman, a key figure in the evolution of South Florida theater, died Wednesday. Charismatic with an elfin visage and a slight accent from his origins in Israel, he was known for enthusiasm, showmanship and drive as he managed and developed the Coconut Grove Playhouse and Parker Playhouse, helped develop the modern-day national touring system, and was a co-founder of the Miami Heat.
Across South Florida, 37 artists accustomed to performing in front 1,000 people sat alone in their bedrooms, kitchens, patios, backyards emoting just as earnestly inches away from their laptops. For more than 3 hours Sunday, performers acted monologues written by local playwrights and directed by local colleagues in Theatre Lab’s Online Original Monologue Festival fundraiser to counteract vanished contracts.
To help with donations – and viewing your favorite performer – this is a list of every piece. The first figure is when the piece appears on the programs; the second item in italics is the title of the piece. …
The South Florida Theatre League has started the South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund, in light of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected live theater workers. The purpose is to help theatre companies provide compensation to artists and other employees that had to be laid off because shows and events were cancelled.
Nothing can match the experience of live theater. But when such gatherings can be irresponsible, if not deadly, we need the healing, uplifting gifts that theater provides. As well as just a good time. Fortunately, we have the Internet. The amount of comedy, drama, music and even theatrical instruction available is staggering if you know where to look for it. What follows is a fraction of what’s available, much of it for free.
South Florida stages are dormant, but the theaters themselves are not. Already, the community is trying to adapt to the exigencies of the current brave new world by offering imaginative initiatives to serve their patrons and their fellow artists. We will update this story as more projects are announced.
In-depth report: Sets still standing on stages are silent pledges that these productions and theater itself in South Florida will resume – albeit in what many believe will be a different world. But what that cultural world will look like for audiences and artists could not be more uncertain, say theater professionals who have had to rethink and rethink again their plans. It’s different from when other disasters have struck Florida like hurricanes; this one may be open-ended.
A patron attending the March 12 performance of Hamilton at the Arsht Center has subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
The venue stressed that there have been no other reports connected to any other performances and no other reports of illnesses.