News: PPTOPA Goes Pro, Theatre League’s Summer Fest, Amico Honored, Amparo Extends Again

Pembroke Pines Theatre of the Performing Arts, one of the region’s oldest continuing community theaters, is taking another step in its development toward becoming a professional regional theater by hiring some professional actors in their coming season.

Auditions are slated for Saturday June 22 from 1 to 5 p.m.; Sunday June 23 from 1 to 5 p.m., and Monday, June 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  at the Susan Katz Theatre, 17195 Sheridan, To schedule an appointment,  at date, resume and headshot to

The plan is to follow a Non-Equity, Paid business model: the artistic talent and some technical personnel will be paid. In some cases, the company has the option to hire Equity members in some select cases.

“PPTOPA believes that this change will, from this day forward, enable us to attract top South Florida talent and technicians, allowing our theater company to be able to continue producing professional  quality shows that our audiences have come to appreciate and expect from PPTOPA,” wrote Alvin E. Entin, chairman of the board.

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The South Florida Theatre League will once again hold its Summer Theatre Fest–, featuring one-night readings of new works by local playwrights, each at  a different league member venue company from June 17 and end with the organization’s annual Remy Awards on August 26.

June 17
Allan Carr: Can’t Stop the Stories by Michael Shayne, at Island City Stage in Wilton Manors, at 7:30 p.m.

It is the day after the disastrous 1989 Academy Awards show which he produced, and Allan is ensconced in the basement discotheque of his mansion waiting for a phone call from the Academy. While entertaining some unexpected guests, he regales them with stories and gossip about his career, friends and the actors he has worked with including Ann-Margret, Rock Hudson, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and The Village People. Allan Carr was a unique show business personality, and there hasn’t been anyone else quite like him since.

June 24

July 1
Student Stages of the Sun: Readings of Plays by Student Playwrights, at Fantasy Theatre Factory in Miami, at 7:30 p.m.

An evening of short plays by South Florida area students – including middle school, high school, and college students.

July 8
Band-Aid Over a Broken Heart by Chris Gacinski, at Measure for Measure at the Sunrise Civic Center at 8 p.m.

Lorenzo is a recently divorced writer who has moved to Paris to make his literary mark. The company he submits for, ran by a modest Jean-Paul, rejects his play, as they are in search for the best play of the generation, to compete with the rising popularity of musical theatre. He is then told to re-submit something to their standard, to rejuvenate this fading and falling art form. With the help of Federica, another Italian born writer, they set off to compose this piece.

July 15
TBA at Area Stage in Miami

July 22
Not Fine by Marj O’Neill-Butler (Winner of Main Street Players’ New Play Contest) at Main Street Playhouse in Miami Lakes, at 7:30 p.m.

July 29
Stages of the Sun: Readings of Short Plays by South Florida Theatre League Playwrights at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center at 8 p.m.

August 5
Musical Minis: Short-form Musicals by South Florida playwrights Bruce Karp, Marj O’Neill-Butler, Mariah Reed, Arianna Rose and Donna Warfield , presented by Miami New Musicals @MAD at 8:00 PM

August 12
An Evening of Short Plays by Marj O’Neill-Butler, at Primal Forces at Sol Theatre in Boca Raton at 7 p.m.

August 19
TBA at Cutler Bay Community Theatre at Edward & Arlene Feller Community Room at Ludovici Parkat at 7 p.m.

August 26
League’s Remy Awards. Details to be announced!

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Michael Amico, one of the region’s most prolific set designers whose hallmark is almost photo-realistic detail, received the Florida Professional Theatres Association’s Vic Award for being “one of Florida’s most creative scenic designers” and in recognition of “his years of work in theater production.” Amico, a multiple Carbonell Award winner, is Palm Beach Dramaworks’ production manager and premier set designer.

Michael Amico

The Vic Award, established in 2012, is named for Victor Meyrich, who was the production manager at Asolo Repertory Theatre for over 50 years. The award pays tribute to designers, technicians, and all other Florida professionals who work behind the scenes in production.

“Mike is an exceptional artist, and it so gratifying to see him honored by the FPTA,” said PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes. “His contribution to the success of PBD is incalculable. He started out with us at our 88-seat theatre on Banyan Boulevard where the stage wasn’t much bigger than the size of a postage stamp, and found ways to work magic with each production. But that was just a prelude to the work he’s done at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre, our home since 2011. With a larger canvas to ‘play’ on, Mike has impressed audiences and critics with visually striking sets that are works of art. Most important – and this was true on our small stage as well – his scenic design always accentuates and completes the vision of the playwright and the director. He truly is a master.”

Among his recent designs was Fences ; his next show will be his fiftieth for the company. Among his other credits are Indecent, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Sweeney Todd, The Night of the Iguana, Picnic (Carbonell nomination), The Lion in Winter, Talley’s Folly  (Carbonell Award),  The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Chairs (Carbonell nomination), A Moon for the Misbegotten (Carbonell nomination), and Seascape. He has designed scenery for theatres throughout Florida, including Actors’ Playhouse , Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the Broward Center the Kravis Center,  Florida Stage, Florida Studio Theatre, and  the Riverside Theater.

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Amparo, the immersive theater project about the Cuban family who lost their rum-producing empire in Castro’s Revolution, has been extended a second time, this time running through July 28. Extensions are rare in South Florida productions in recent years and second extensions nearly unheard of since the days of Avi Hoffman’s Too Jewish shows at Broward Stage Door. For more information, visit

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