Tag Archives: Stuart Meltzer
The Finstrom Festival of New Work, a new national playwriting contest, has just opened for entries – a competition whose finalists will undergo workshops, staged readings and possibly a full production at Zoetic Stage in Miami.
A look back at 2020: Yes, South Florida theater was crippled by the pandemic. But its acolytes remained driven to express their artistry, and patrons remained ravenous for their work. They continued to explore projects, create avenues and seek paychecks with efforts ranged from filmed full-fledged productions to monologues newly penned in bedrooms.
The 44th Carbonell Awards celebration was unique, not simply because it was online, but because of its acknowledgement of the diversity of the theater community. Honoring excellence for 2019, the awards, which have been quietly accused of not reflecting diversity, pointedly went out of its way to be inclusive in its annual celebration.
American Son at Zoetic Stage doesn’t offer solutions to the complexity of race so much as explore with increasing intensity the exact craggy contours of the gulf. Christopher Demos-Brown’s play brings the audience alongside those struggling with the conflicting and seemingly irreconcilable pressures on not just African-Americans but everyone awash in the social maelstrom.
When Christopher Demos-Brown’s racially charged drama American Son — which has played in other cities and bowed on Broadway — finally opens this week at Zoetic Stage in Miami, it will be, as director Stuart Meltzer says, “a homecoming.”
Crucial to know about Grindr Mom is that while the heroine is a middle-class pearl-wearing politically conservative Mormon who volunteers once a week at the local school, “The Wife” as she is called in Ronnie Larsen’s script is decidedly engaging, likable and genuinely charming — certainly not a monstrous homophobic bigot.
One definition of classic theater is a piece that not only remains popular or relevant through time, but which can be endlessly reinterpreted or restaged without losing any of its brilliance, Shakespeare’s work being the most obvious example. Zoetic Stage’s latest entry working its way through the Stephen Sondheim canon underscores how Sweeney Todd qualifies.
The premise of Every Brilliant Thing might fool you into thinking that it’s kin to a “very special” Lifetime Movie of the Week: a boy tries to ease the pain of his suicidal mother and his own anxiety by making a list of “brilliant” things and leaving them for his mother to find. But themes hide just under the wry and warm exterior: highlighting aspects of life that can be beautiful and sustaining, as well as the damage that depression can wreak on an entire family.
Usually, Zoetic Stage’s director Stuart Meltzer’s deft work is almost invisible to audience members other than bringing a fresh vision to familiar titles. But his masterful work in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is so clearly displayed that his reinvention becomes the “star” of the production.
In Zoetic Stage’s premiere Dracula, the vampire is a sexist pig (as are several men in the play). The protagonists are strong-willed proto-feminists. Together, they embody a society struggling with re-envisioning what self-empowered women can and should be. Michael McKeever’s script as directed by Stuart Meltzer presents social commentary told with droll, wry and self-aware humor, and the retelling of the classic horror narrative.