The ever-developing Summer Shorts Festival, now entering its 21st year in Miami, will sound a bit different this year: two of the ten-minute works will be musicals.
City Theatre’s staple of the summer theater season running June 2 to July 3 will also feature familiar names and newcomers as actors, writers and directors when the nine pieces bow at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
The acting ensemble includes Shorts veterans: Elizabeth Dimon, Tom Wahl and Karen Stephens, along with Meredith Bartmon, Alex Alvarez, Cherise James and Andres Maldonado.
The directors include City Theatre Summer Shorts Festival Artistic Director Margaret M. Ledford, Jessica Farr, Paul Tei and Dimon.
The creative team is Justin Landers, musical director; Jodi Dellaventura, scenic design; Steve Shapiro, sound design; Preston Bircher, lighting design); Ellis Tillman, costume design, and Christopher Wood, properties design.
The shows include:
Best Lei’d Plans by Kelly Younger, Southeastern Premiere, directed by Farr
A pair of mothers-in-law enjoying the Hawaiian wedding reception of their new newly married children agree they aren’t an obvious success, and come up with a hilarious plan to ensure the happiness of at least two members of the new family.
Cabin Pressure by Paul Rudnick, Southeastern Premiere, directed by Ledford
The nationally known playwright and satirist Rudnick, whose work has appeared in the festival before, features a memorably irreverent, if slightly hysterical flight attendant, who, in accepting the Medal of Honor from the President of the United States, describes what it takes for an aviation professional to keep the friendly skies terror free!
Eggs by Jennifer Jasper, Southeastern Premiere directed by Ledford
A couple of modern parents who constantly worry and fret about their children finally send the kids outside to play, and in one minute discover the consequences. And maybe rewards!
Evelyn Shaffer and the Chance of a Lifetime, World Premiere directed by Dimon,
Book and Lyrics by Greg Edwards, Music by Andy Roninson
In this musical, Evelyn Shaffer, an indie game designer with a shot at the big leagues, is quickly disappointed when her dreams turn into delusions. But Evelyn discovers she’s made of tougher stuff, as she summons the courage of her avatar, and it’s game on!
F4 by Elin Hampton, Southeastern Premiere directed by Tei
The aftermath of a killer storm brings Wallis, a young EMT who hasn’t saved anyone yet, to the devastation of Crisco’s farm, where the man who survived an F4 tornado sitting in an old chair, has lost everything including the will to live. Inexperienced in life and death, Wallis considers her next casualty.
I Buried Doug Biggers Alive But He’s Probably Dead By Now, a City Theatre commission by Steve Yockey, World Premiere directed by Tei
Diane Biggers is always furious with her conniving husband, and has finally taken matters into her own hands. And maybe gone a bit overboard. Now with a motley collection of cohorts, Diane tries to explain how his exotic erectile drugs, tax evasion, annoying personal habits and marital stress, has finally made her snap. Yockey is another veteran whose work has appeared in the festival previously.
The Rules of Comedy by Patricia Cotter, Southeastern Premiere directed by Tei
What do you get when a sad woman with no sense of humor, and a broken-hearted comedian with a chip on his shoulder, walk into a stand-up comedy workshop? A master class of life and laughs, with a surprising punch line. Cotter’s The Anthropology Section was produced several times last year including in Summer Shorts.
The Talk by France-Luce Benson, Southeastern Premiere directed by Farr
Last season’s award-winning playwright of Risen From The Dough, returns with another surprising exploration of traditions and conventions, when newly widowed Manu, awakens her adult daughter Claire, to ask an unexpected question about sex, and living alone, and becoming a woman she doesn’t know how to be. What begins as a funny and awkward talk, becomes a poignant and meaningful late night dialogue that draws a daughter and mother close before they part. Benson is the one playwright in the festival with local connections as a New World School of the Arts and FIU graduate.
Warped, World Premiere directed by Margaret M. Ledford , Music by Andy Roninson, Book by Chris Critelli and Lyrics by Andy Roninson and Chris Critelli
In an out of this world sci-fi musical romance, brave space navigator Lieutenant Zulax discovers he’s steered into an uncharted heaven when his alien heart is suddenly captured by courageous Captain Jade. With the help of a strange crew, a tiny furry doctor, and a singing computer, Lt. Zulax dodges incoming asteroids as he and Captain Jade navigate the ups and downs and emotional terrain of falling in love.
Summer Shorts Festival will run June 2-July 3 at the Carnival Studio Theatre in the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami at 7 p.m Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Estimated running time 90 minutes. Tickets range from $39 to $59. Call (305) 949-6722, or visit www.arshtcenter.org.