Tag Archives: Margaret M. Ledford
By Bill Hirschman Sometimes for actors, especially playing comedy, the only option is to jump off the cliff and see if you can fly. The miracle is that sometimes, as in City Theatre’s Summer Shorts, is that, indeed, they soar. …
Imagine you’re Ken Clement in City Theatre’s Summer Shorts opening this week. One minute he’s a dolphin, a few minutes later he;s Dracula and still later he has to find his inner Mothra. Performing in the annual festival of short plays, a rite of summer now in its 18th edition, requires talents they don’t dwell on in drama school.
Eighteen Silver Palm Awards honoring theatrical excellence in South Florida during the 2011-2012 season will be presented Dec. 3, as well as two Remy Awards from the South Florida Theatre League.
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James’ psychological thriller gets a superbly accomplished production as The Naked Stage’s first outing in almost two years featuring flawless performances by Katherine Amadeo and Matthew William Chizever, and director Margaret M. Ledford deftly creating a world of half-shadows and whispers.
So much for the myth of the summer doldrums…. Besides recent and imminent openings at Mad Cat, Palm Beach Dramaworks, GableStage, Actors Playhouse, the XXVII International Hispanic Theatre Festival, three shows at the Stage Door venues, not to mention the Arsht’s Donkey Show, here’s some news and notes you might not have heard about regarding Naked Stage, Island City Stage, Lake Worth Playhouse, David Kwiat and PPTOPA.
Playwright Adam Rapp shares Beckett’s indifference to whether audiences comprehend his idiosyncratic depiction of his dark vision. But in Mosaic Theatre’s The Edge of Our Bodies, he also is writing something of weight and worth, even if you’re not at all certain what it is.
Which brings us to Rapp’s The Edge of Our Bodies closing out Mosaic Theatre’s season. This extended monologue by a high school girl reading from her journal and acting out what she has written is by turns illuminating and opaque, precise and equivocal, comprehensible and incomprehensible.
City Theatre’s annual rite of the season Summer Shorts has developed a well-earned reputation for being the dictionary definition of “uneven.” So it’s a relief that this 17th edition is the most consistently funny and entertaining in quite some time.
The cruel irony is that The Unseen, the last show before The Promethean Theatre closes its doors forever, is one of the finest productions that the company has mounted in its eight-year history. Craig Wright’s tale depicting two political prisoners tortured in a Kafkaesque dungeon is one of the most incisive explorations of existentialism since Waiting For Godot and No Exit. But the script is elevated to agonizing, visceral life by actors Antonio Amadeo, Andrew Wind and Alex Alvarez, led by the inestimable insight of director Margaret M. Ledford.
In the sense that economics are the root cause, observers might group The Promethean Theatre’s imminent closing with the high profile problems plaguing other South Florida theaters during the past year.
But co-founder Deborah L. Sherman makes a distinction. The eight-year-old theater in Davie is closing in the black, before it owes a dime, and, most important to her, while the quality of its productions allows her colleagues to hold up their heads with pride.
Book-learning and collegiate productions provide theater students the basics of the craft they hope to follow, but The Promethean Theatre is providing Nova Southeastern University students with real world experience that is far more rigorous and revealing than class work.