South Florida Theater League’s Annual Festival Kicks Off Next Month

By Bill Hirschman

Free theater tickets, a gala party, a marathon fund raiser, a panel discussion and open-mike storytelling are the major events in the South Florida Theater League’s sixth annual festival that takes place over three weeks in October.

Free Night of Theater

In an attempt to build future audiences, the League is joining a national program through called Free Night of Theater. On selected evenings in October, at least nine theater companies from West Palm Beach to Coral Gables will offer free tickets through a raffle system.

“The Theatre League is proud to participate in this proven program that is a nation-wide effort to introduce new audiences to theater,” said League Executive Director Andie Arthur.

The national initiative was conceived “as a way to remove perceived barriers that have historically prevented audiences from attending not-for-profit theatre,” according to the Theatre Communication Group,  which spearheads the national effort.  An estimated 80% of  attendees were first-time theatergoers in the national program. Attendance data indicated  that over 33% of first-time theatergoers purchased tickets to another performance following their Free Night experience, TCG reported.

The ticketing system this year involves entering a drawing during September. Patrons can choose up to three shows to try to win tickets for by visiting www.freenightsouthflorida.com from Sept.  9 -23. On Sept. 28, they will receive an email notifying them if they’ve won tickets.

Participating theaters so far include Actors’ Playhouse , Caldwell Theatre Company, Delray Beach Playhouse, Infinite Abyss, Lake Worth Playhouse, New Theatre, Rising Action Theatre, Slow Burn Theatre Company and The Women’s Theatre Project.

For details, contact the League at (954) 557-0778. Additional theaters may join in this project as the Festival plans progress.

Party time

The festival ends with a Halloween-themed party for the entire community from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24,  at The Green Room (behind Revolution Live at 100 SW Third Ave.) in the Himmarshee  District of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Call  League Executive Director Andie Arthur for reservations (954) 557-0778.  This is a free event for League members; non-members $20.

Panel Discussion in New Theater Companies
A panel of South Florida’s newest theatrical producers will discuss “Why Should South Florida Support More Theatres?” at a noon luncheon of the South Florida International Press Club on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Miami Shores Country Club in Miami-Dade.

Among the companies invited to participate are the new Outre company, Parade Productions, Caldwell2, The Alliance Lab, Infinite Abyss productions, the Boca Raton Theatre Guild and other newer venues.

The luncheon is open to the public. Cost is $25 with an advance reservation.  Call (954) 349-2596 or (305) 775-2689 for reservation or email rlanetework@gmail.com.

The 24-Hour Theatre Project

As discussed in an earlier post, The Naked Stage and Promethean Theatre will hold this fifth annual fund raiser at 8 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton.

Volunteers gather at 7 p.m. Sunday when playwrights are assigned a theme or title. They write until dawn when the directors and cast begin rehearsals – a process that invariably changes the material throughout the day. At 8.p.m. whatever results goes up before a paying audience. The pieces, usually comic, range from hysterically funny to head-scratchers.

Regular tickets are $25; VIP tickets for $50 include reserve seating and a commemorative poster.  To purchase tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9222935 or call (866) 811-4111. If you cannot attend, but would like to make a tax deductible donation, send your check payable to The Naked Stage, 5025 Ibis Place, Coconut Creek, FL 33073.

360 Storytelling

This second-year event for the Festival is an audience participation program devised by David Loehr of the Riverrun Theatre in Indiana. The basic concept is an “open mike” storytelling evening in which anyone in the audience can tell a story up to six minutes. A list of participating theaters and dates will be announced shortly. This event will be staged in at least three theaters (Miami-Dade, Broward  and Palm Beach locations) to be announced in September.  The event is free of charge.

Additional events may be scheduled.  For more details, contact the League  at 954-557-0778.

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