Tag Archives: Susan Westfall
Next month was to have marked a milestone anniversary for City Theatre and the company’s much-admired Summer Shorts festival. This pandemic pause notwithstanding, it’s an appropriate time to look back and assess what City Theatre has accomplished.
For some who view two-part events on Broadway and five-hour epic tragedies as the height of the theatrical form, the 10-minute play is condescendingly tolerated as the poor relation at the arts table. But not in Miami. City Theatre, a home-grown company created by three colleagues around a kitchen table 23 years ago, has become the leading purveyor of short-form theatre in the country.
Some South Florida theaters are scrapping some of what they plan to put on stage this season or next. Some are leaving support positions unfilled. Some plan smaller cast shows. Some have sidelined plans for growth. Theaters are scrambling to cope with an unexpected 90 percent slash in state funding. But theater champions vow to fight back by organizing patrons and leading citizens to influence lawmakers.
In a move that will spread the brand of Miami-based City Theatre around the world, the company begins this month producing collections of its short plays on Azamara Club Cruises luxury ships. The effort to maximize the extended use of its huge catalog of 10-minute plays represents what City Theatre sees a new producing prototype not just for itself but the theater industry.
City Theatre’s Summer Shorts, which only recently began showcasing musicals, includes three this year including one by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Political satire is like the finest champagne – delectable at the time but going flat with age. But in the meantime, as Shorts Gone Wild 4 (subtitled Decision 2016: It’s Gonna Be Yuuuuuge!) underscores, what a terrific way to blow off angst over today’s polarized landscape.
Susan J. Westfall’s Two Weekends and a Day at New Theatre is a classic example of a world premiere that has admirable virtues worth exploring further, but a serious need for more re-tooling.
Meeting people, networking, building relationships are all critically important for writers hoping to bring their words to the stage. Giving playwrights a platform to learn and share their craft is the driving force behind CityWrights Professional Weekend for Playwrights, part of the City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival.
Fresh plays by four South Florida playwrights are showcased in a staged-reading format at a free event entitled “From Scratch” on Sunday in Miami.