The ancient Greeks gave us drama; Shakespeare gave us tragedy; and now New Theatre's giving us everything they've got.
Fourteen playwrights, 14 directors, 36 actors, and more than 15 supporting staff members are ready to put on for their city (with a little more finesse than Young Jeezy) at the Miami 1-Acts Festival.
The event, opening Friday at the Roxy Performing Arts Center, will help raise funds for New Theatre. The non-profit, opened in 1986, aims at producing new works that stimulate and entertain the multicultural art niche of South Florida.
"Everyone you see at this fundraiser is a volunteer, from the person on stage to the person taking your ticket," said Eileen Suarez, managing director of New Theatre.
Suarez teamed up with long-time colleague and artistic director of New Theatre, Ricky J. Martinez, to put together the benefit. After playwright Robert Caisley dedicated a piece to the pair and donated the script to them, royalty-free, to do what they pleased, it only made sense to share it with an audience. Following suit, they asked other playwrights to donate pieces they had written, as well as their royalties, in order to stage the festival and continue being able to produce art and programming for the organization.
Aside from directing rehearsals and dealing with the technical aspect of the project, Suarez and Martinez are theatre veterans where they have worked on and off with each other for over 16 years, but closely for the last eight.
Martinez is proud of the effort volunteers have made to bring together the arts community and showcase nationally and locally award-winning artists.
"We have our board chairman, attorney Steven Eisenberg, in Dad's Got the Mike, and watching him blossom from an attorney to actor has been awesome and fantastic," he said.
Everyone has a chance to be involved, even the attendees. Audience members get to decide the order of the shows and where intermission will be held. Happy Hour begins one hour prior to curtain with beer for a mere $2.50 donation. The concession stand will also be open and ample parking is provided.
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It's a chance to support New Theatre and the artistic community of South Florida as you booze on a budget and enjoy some live entertainment for a change. Hey, it beats the celluloid big screen at the mall where you know someone's going to bring their shrieking baby and your water costs five frickin' bucks.
The Miami 1-Acts Festival will take place Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8 at the Roxy Performing Arts Center, 1645 SW 107th Avenue, Miami. Program A will be performed Friday, July 6 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 8 at 5:30 p.m.; Program B will be performed Saturday, July 7 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 8 at 1 p.m. Admission costs $10. Call 305-443-5909 or visit new-theatre.org.