By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
There are flaws here, as with most any production, but few and far between. The story, which is filled with humor and dramatic tension throughout, ends on a rather weak note. And the company makes the regrettable error of not including any reference to the playwright beyond the byline in the program, despite the author's notable credits, including the off-Broadway musical success The Gift of the Magi (book and co-lyrics). It may seem a minor point to some, but I'd say the playwright deserves a mention, especially when the writing is this good.
Dramaworks is the creation of Hayes and his partners, Nanique Gheridian and Sue Ellen Beryl, all of whom have business backgrounds and an appreciation for strategic planning. "We all wore many hats in our first season -- as directors, actors, everything," Hayes says. "But this year, we realized we had to focus on managing the company and providing a good foundation for growth." Growth is certainly in the company's near future: The theater plans to expand its physical space and its professional talent pool.
So far the Dramaworks season has served up two rather well-known plays: Camping has received several productions around the state, as has the season opener, Crossing Delancey. But the company's creative goal is to present underproduced, challenging revivals as well as new plays. To that end the company presents an annual playwrights festival in July. Last year's winner, The Velveteen Undertow by local whiz Michael McKeever, will get its world premiere later this season.
Meanwhile, though, you might head up to West Palm for a little Camping. It's worth the trip.