AAPACT Produces Dutchman; Empire Hosts Readings

Readings Are Fundamental

Empire Stage, the vest pocket theater next to the railroad tracks at 1140 N. Flagler in Fort Lauderdale, is becoming a popular center for staged readings as well as temporary digs for small, fledgling companies.

Two have been slated for this month:

Several short works by Florida playwright Marla F. Schwartz under the umbrella title Shortz by Schwartz will receive a staged reading at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26.

The playlets will be directed by Paula Sackett and feature Marj O’Neill-Butler, Todd Caster, Bryan Hayes, Kevin Johnson, Tammy Smith and Jade D. Wheeler.

The second reading is James Carrey’s first full-length play, If This Play Sucks, Blame Facebook, scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28 under the auspices of Carrey’s new theater company, Crashbox Theatre Company.

Carrey will direct a cast including Noah Levine, Casey Casperson, Scott Douglas Wilson, Nori Tecosky, Johann Azcuy, and Kaitlyn O’Neil.

He wrote that the play takes “random lines of dialogue from Facebook users” an “in the fashion of Improv Comedy, the playwright assembled a work that revolves around two friends staying at a lake house for the weekend. Alain is inviting over a prostitute to write an article for a magazine, and providing his friend Kaspar with some much needed attention in the wake of his failing marriage. Things start to go out of control when strange noises coming from the basement, falling objects in the bedroom, and phantom growls and lacerations plague their weekend. (It) ultimately is a play about friendship, overcoming obstacles, following your dreams, facing fears, and finding acceptance in this world in which we live. The play forecasts that while we may live in a crazy society filled with excess, apathy, and an obsession with fame and tragedy, we can have faith that ultimately people have the ability to achieve great things when they follow their heart.”

Admission to both readings is free although donations will be accepted. For more information, call (954) 678-1496 or www.empirestage.com .

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A Ticket To Ride

African American Performing Arts Community Theatre, Inc., has had a comparatively low profile during its 11 years of operation, but it has provided challenging roles for most of the professional black actors in the region. It is opening its new season next month with the racially-charged Dutchman, the last play that LeRoi Jones wrote before changing his name to Amiri Baraka.

The play is scheduled to play Sept. 5-30 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in the Wendell Narcisse Theater located at 6161 N.W. 22nd Avenue .

AAPACT founder Teddy Harrell, Jr. will direct Yevgeniya Kats and Samuel Umoh in the unsettling look at racism in which a neurotic white woman uses sex to lure a young black man to his doom on a fateful subway ride. Seating can be reserved by calling (305) 456-0287 or emailing theatre@aapact.com.

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