By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Ric Delgado
By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
Since coming onboard as artistic director three years ago, McGillis has streamlined the number of presentations each year. The first season she presented nine full productions; the second year five. "Audiences liked all the work," she admits, "but they said it was confusing to see so many plays in such a short time." After reading through two hundred submissions this time around, McGillis found eighteen plays that moved her, and then reduced that number to four, hoping to render the festival "manageable on the production end and the viewing end."
Another change in this year's programming includes outreach performances. High school students in Key West, Marathon, and Key Largo will have a chance to see Denny's Chronicle, a surreal exploration of love, death, and time, featuring teenagers who gather in an all-night Denny's restaurant. Written by a recent graduate of New World School of the Arts High School, the work will be directed by New World professor and Carbonell Award-winning director Patrice Bailey. "It's a wonderful thing for students to see a new work by a young playwright," explains McGillis. "It gives them an opportunity to learn about theater, participate in it, and be inspired to write." For complete details on festival scheduling, call Theatre Key West at 800-741-6945.
Plans are underway by the South Florida Critics Association (SFCA) to honor the most sparkling work of the 1995-96 season at the 21st annual Carbonell Awards ceremony on Monday, November 18, at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables. The event marks the award ceremony's return to Dade County after more than ten years in Broward and Palm Beach.
The SFCA announced the nominations for the awards last week. More than 125 professional regional theater productions in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach were eligible; a total of 28 productions have been recognized. The Pope Theatre Company in Manalapan leads the way with 26 nominations, the highest number for any theater yet this decade, including Best New Play (Not Waving), Best Production of a Play (Hysteria), and Best Production of a Musical (Puttin' on the Ritz). Actors' Playhouse of Coral Gables follows with fourteen nominations, two for Best Production of a Musical (Man of La Mancha and Tom Foolery). Other Miami-based theaters receiving honors include Coconut Grove Playhouse with nine nominations, such as Best Production (Death of a Salesman) and Best New Play (Marjory); Area Stage with three, one of which is for Best New Play (Passage); and New Theatre with three, including Best New Play (Youth and Asia). The recently defunct ACME Acting Company garnered two nominations, while the newly launched City Theatre earned three. City Theatre will also receive a special citation at the awards ceremony, commending the company for bringing South Florida its first one-act play marathon Summer Shorts.
Adding some sizzle to the acting competition, different actors portraying the same character in two separate productions of Love! Valour! Compassion! will run neck and neck for awards: Matthew Wright, for his performance as both James and John Jekyll in New Theatre's production, goes up against Anthony Newfield, in the same roles at the Caldwell Theatre Company, for Best Actor; George Contini played Buzz in the show at New Theatre, while Kraig Swartz interpreted Buzz at the Caldwell; both men are nominated as Best Supporting Actor. Meanwhile, two actresses find themselves eligible to win two awards this year: Aymee Garcia, for Best Supporting Actress in a Play (Summer Shorts) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (The Pajama Game), and Kim Cozort for Best Actress in a Play (Sylvia) and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical (Puttin' on the Ritz).
For ticket information and details, call Carbonell Award box office chair Karen Caruso at 407-392-3755.
Erratum: In our September 19 issue, a theater company in the article "The Year in Revue" was incorrectly identified as Americas Theatre Group at the Florida Shakespeare Theatre. The correct name of the company is the Florida Shakespeare Theatre at the Biltmore Hotel. New Times regrets the error.
The Mystery of Irma Vep. Written by Charles Ludlam; directed by Matthew Regan; with John Manzelli and Paul Thomas. Through October 13. For information call 954-925-8123 or see "Calendar Listings.