Tag Archives: Stephanie Ansin
Stephanie Ansin, who championed stylized and intellectually challenging theater for children, is stepping down from the leadership of Miami Theater Center, the groundbreaking company she co-created 12 years ago.
There’s a daringness to Stephanie Ansin’s vision at Miami Theater Center that makes you find things to love about a piece, even one that ends up having more than a few problems. As a continuation of her exploration of themes of isolation and entrapment, Ansin and company have chosen Tennessee Williams’ The Two Character Play.
An Opinion Piece By Spencer Stewart. Mr. Stewart has objected to many aspects of our review of Miami Theater Center’s production of The Seven Year Itch and has views about the value of criticism in general. We felt that the in our commitment to dialogue, we should publish with his permission his thoughts verbatim
We want theaters to take chances and Miami Theater Center has bravely invested its artistic vision into classics like Three Sisters. But MTC has missed the target so badly in its misbegotten revival of the 1952 sex comedy The Seven Year Itch that you only thing you want to scratch is your head.
After a half-century of sympathetic portraits of Hedda Gabler as a woman suffocating in a sexist societal straightjacket, Miami Theater Center gives us a cool, manipulative, self-centered creature whose primary complaint is she’s bored.
The magic of serendipity: It’s difficult to imagine — without being boxed into it as Miami Theater Company was — how an artistic director would thematically put together a season encompassing Hedda Gabler and The Seven Year Itch.
Even though Miami Theater Center wants “children’s shows” to be enjoyed by all generations, Everyone Drinks The Same Water is likely to be most appreciated by middle schoolers. As always, the production is splendid. But its subject matter about tolerance seems a bit too sophisticated for the elementary school and too simplistic for the high schoolers and adults.
“Learning to work through inbred intolerance” is not the kids’ stuff of an ABC Afterschool Special, but Miami Theater Center’s vision has always differed radically from what is often dismissed as children’s theater. Its world premiere, Everybody Drinks The Same Water, opening next week, is a thematically ambitious project designed to entertain and educate audiences ranging from students to their grandparents.
Teenagers may hold the survival secrets for South Florida theaters to build a crucial new generation of patrons. Students say they seek theater that is relevant, affordable, accessible, less elitist, touching the head and the heart, marketed through cyber-word of mouth, and pumped with sensory candy. Above all, their interest has to be stimulated as early as elementary school.
Miami Theater Center’s inaugural adult project, a fresh vision of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, is not a smoothly gelling work of art, let alone entertainment. The flaws are considerable, persistent and cannot be discounted. But they are outweighed by sustained bursts of dazzling imagination, passion, skill, craft, ingenuity and a commitment to creating a unique theatrical experience.