City Theatre's Summer Shorts festival has definitely grown in prominence and size since its first outing in 1996, but this year's bill proves it hasn't gotten too successful to ignore homegrown talent. The annual event solicits, develops, and produces a diverse group of short (one-act) comedies, dramas, and musicals. And work by some major playwrights, including Neil LaBute, Paul Rudnick, and Shel Silverstein, will grace the stages of the University of Miami's Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. "In terms of script solicitation alone it's clear that we have reached a new level of national recognition. This year we reviewed over 800 scripts," explains Susan Westfall, producing artistic director. Still the company is taking its mission to develop the work of emerging writers as seriously as ever. Marco Ramirez, in his second year at New York University, will debut his short Pipo and Fufo: 1969. Lauren Feldman, once a City Theatre intern, will premiere and perform in her one-act Asteroid Belt. For one ticket, audiences get an evening packed with several pieces, ranging from dark and disturbing to romantic and hilarious. -- By Mia Leonin
Summer Shorts runs from Thursday, June 5, to Sunday, June 29, at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Dr, Coral Gables. Tickets range from $27 to $75. See www.citytheatre.com or call 305-365-5400.
Thursday June 5
Techniques tackle stage fright
Anyone who's set foot before an audience will tell you of bouts of anxiety. Actors often hide behind gestures and prefabricated intonations to give the impression of "good" acting. Trouble is, stagy habits usually look canned and lifeless in performance or during auditions. New York City's acclaimed Barrow Group Theater combats actor habits by stressing spontaneity and improvisation. Artistic directors Seth Barrish and Lee Brock will teach their technique in a series of classes that delve into cold reading, Shakespeare, and working with text. The workshops begin at 10:00 a.m. today and Friday, June 6, at MDCC-North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-237-1091. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez