New, Newer, Newest
Two new play programs are ongoing this week including a private convention of the National New Play Network being hosted by New Theatre at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center. Seminars and readings of works–in-progress are featured in this conference headed by former South Floridian Nan Barnett.
But the other program underway all this week is public: a collection of readings and addresses sponsored by Florida Atlantic University’s new Theatre Lab program that opened earlier this fall under the aegis of Lou Tyrrell.
Each reading is accompanied by a post-show discussion, an opportunity to interact with the playwrights themselves, where they will discuss the process, inspiration, and plans for future development.
The next events are:
Friday, December 11
7:30 p.m. Reading of Echo Location by Carter W. Lewis
Once the cat got flung into the ceiling fan, the backyard wedding of Benjamin Rindle appeared to be in jeopardy. As waves crash against the nearby Massachusetts shores, Benjamin desperately attempts to keep his nuptials on schedule with the moon and the tides. But first he must navigate a heart-broken bookie named Bluetooth, the police car in front of his house, the arrival of a young girl claiming to be his daughter, and the unspeakable retribution for the ill-fated cat – before he can finally marry Emmy…the woman who buried his sister.
Saturday, December 12
2 p.m. Reading of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown
American Son examines our nation’s racial divide through the eyes of an estranged, biracial couple. Over the course of a tense night, we witness how their disparate histories and backgrounds inform their assumptions as they confront an unexpected crisis involving the police and their biracial son.
5 p.m. Performance of original student work from Future Pages outreach program. Free to the public, ticketed event. For tickets, please call (561) 297-6124 or come to box office in FAU’s Student Union, Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
7:30 p.m. Reading of Harlowe by Jennifer Lane
After suffering a potent physical trauma, Harlowe loses her sense of touch. When her sister brings her home to convalesce, she retreats to the bathroom and spends hour after hour languishing in the tub. Harlowe is a story of sisters and bodies; it is a story of how we heal.
Sunday, December 13
2 p.m. Keynote Address by Marsha Norman (playwright of ‘night mother) followed by reading of Special Report from The War on Girls
5:30 p.m. Playwright’s Panel followed by Closing Reception
For tickets and more information call (800) 564-9539 or (561) 297-6124. Tickets at the door upon availability.
Now Hear This
The Arts Radio Network Project, which has been performing scripts of old radio plays at area venues for several years now, has partnered up with public radio station WLRN to produce more events that will be recorded in performance and broadcast monthly.
Dubbed the WLRN Radio Theater, the new project is a major expansion for the small company that has been selecting classic plays from radio of the 1930s to 1950s.
The group headed by veteran radio hands John and Caroline Breder-Watts has hired local actors and recreated plays in front of microphones on stage as if the audience is witnessing a live radio broadcast — complete with ingeniously produced sound effects for titles as diverse as War of the Worlds and Sunset Boulevard.
The 12-play series on WLRN will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 with It’s a Wonderful Life that was recorded from live performances Dec. 4 and 5 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Abdo New River Room. Subsequent performances will be broadcast on the second Sunday of each month at 7 p.m.
Other South Florida venues that will host performances include The Crest Theatre at Old School Square in Delray Beach, and the Tropic Cinema in Key West. A complete list of the year’s productions will be available at www.wlrn.org. For more information about WLRN Radio Theater, call (786) 351-1169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the upcoming programs are: Double Indemnity being broadcast Jan.10; A Star is Born broadcast Feb. 14, and Casablanca performed live Feb 5-6 at the Broward Center and broadcast on Apr. 10. Other upcoming titles include It Happened One Night, Sunset Blvd., Little Women, The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of the Worlds, Sorry, Wrong Number and The Maltese Falcon.
Get On Board
The South Florida Theatre League, the umbrella service organization for 84 theaters between Jupiter and Key West, has expanded its board and added new members.
Carol Kassie, who joined the board in 2012 and has served as chairman of the League’s Marketing Committee as well as on the executive committee as recording secretary, has been named president.
R. Kent Wilson will serve as vice president, Michael Yawney as treasurer, and immediate past president Christopher Jahn as recording secretary. New board members are Mary Damiano, Carlos Garrido, Patricia Wakely Wolf, and Nicole Stodard. Returning members are Susan Dierenfeldt-Troy, Alma Kadragic and Les Wharton.
Lost In The Woods
Lost Girls Theatre, a fledgling Miami company that has been developing new works in readings, will host a free reading of a new play, Juliet Among the Changelings at 8 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the visitor’s center of the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave. in Miami.
The work by the company’s co-founder and artistic director Andie Arthur explores issues of identity in adolescence through Celtic myths about changelings and fairies, specifically drawing from the Scottish ballad “Tam Lin.”
“I wanted to write a play specifically for Lost Girls Theatre – which takes advantage of our mission to present a theatre of wonder – and I also wanted to see if I could write the play version of a young adult novel, using the tropes of urban fantasy to explore the craziness that is being a teenager,” said Arthur.
The reading will be directed by Steven Chambers and feature local actors Ashley Chang, Merry Jo Cortada, Sandi Stock, and Krystal Valdes.
The reading is free and open to the public, though donations are accepted
Island City Stage will host a panel discussion of LGBT rights and political activism following the Dec. 13 performance of its production of Topher Payne’s Angry Fags at its new venue at 2304 N. Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors.
Speakers will include. Gary M. Forrest, a local psychologist with multiple licenses and certifications in anger resolution therapy, substance abuse, Rapid Trauma Resolution, clinical hypnotherapy, couples counseling, and marriage and family therapy; Glenna Milberg, reporter for Local 10 News and co-host on Local 10’s public affairs broadcast This Week in South Florida, and Sgt. Frank Pilewski, named Officer of the Year by the Wilton Manors Police Department, recipient of the department’s Meritorious Service Award, and an authority on assault and violent crime.
Attendance at the discussion is free. Tickets for the play may be purchased at IslandCityStage.org or by calling 954-519-2533.
City Theatre, the Miami-based producers of Summer Shorts Festival and other events, have announced changes to its leadership.
Award-winning freelance director Margaret M. Ledford will be artistic director of City Theatre’s high-profile Summer Shorts program based at Arsht Center in Miami – the annual collection of short plays now entering its XXx year.
Gail S. Garrisan, who was City Theatre’s founding artistic director, will be head special projects and Island Shorts which tries out potential plays in readings on Key Biscayne.
Actor-playwright Jessica Farr, a mainstay at Mad Cat Theatre Company, will lead Short Cuts project, a program that tours short plays through the school system.
Kelly Ruane Melchiondo, a Miami lawyer and arts activist, has been elected chair of the noard of directors for the 2015 – 2016 Season. She succeeds the founding chairman Alan Fein who will continue to serve as chairman emeritus.
The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County has appointed three new members to its board of directors: Jo Anne Rioli Moeller, founder and principal of J.A.R. Moeller, LLC, providing management guidance on compensation and benefit programs domestically and internationally; Sue Patterson, a senior vice president/art director for J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in New York and board member for the Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Palm Beach Day Academy boards, and Christine Grennan Stiller, president of the Stiller Family Foundation, where she creates scholarship opportunities for high school and college students and supports educational programs for children.