Storycrafter Studio, Miami's Newest Theater Company, Has a Fighting Chance

Rehearsals at Storycrafter Studio.
Rehearsals at Storycrafter Studio.

Mark your calendars: There will be swordfighting on Miami Beach this summer. Well, not on the beach, exactly, but in a small theater steps away from the sand.

Storycrafter Studio, Miami's latest addition to its thriving theater community, will open its first full-length production not with a bang but with the joust of a blade.

The Sword Bride, scheduled to run June 6 to July 7 at Storycrafter's black box theater at 7329 Collins Ave., is an ambitious sword-and-sorcery epic recommended for fans of Game of Thrones, and the company is going all out to provide a visceral, cinematic experience, even hiring a Hollywood stunt coordinator for the stage fighting.

If The Sword Bride is as fun as it sounds, Storycrafter could be a space to be reckoned with. Artistic Director Cynthia Clay, who launched her company with a couple of play readings and has been searching for a permanent location for the past year, sees Storycrafter as "a happening place, where nearly every day there will be something going on, whether it is an original full-length action play, a program of 10-minute comic plays and monologues, short story jams and poetry jams, author talks and presentations, or play readings. Through these forms we'll be engaging in a theatrical conversation with the audience about the experience of Miami, especially its adventuresome, comic qualities."

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Clay, whose father was a drama theorist and whose mother trained at Chicago's legendary Goodman Theatre, began acting at age 8 in a production of Jules Feiffer's The Lonely Machine. And in her career as a dramatist, she has been featured on the PBS series Scientific Frontiers, wrote a well-received 2005 book on drama theory, and traveled around the world, lecturing about theater to Russian rocket scientists.

But her new venue is hyperlocal: Storycrafter aspires to be a creative hub for all South Florida creatives.

"We'll be a small, cozy house with artwork by South Florida artists on our lobby walls, books by South Florida authors showcased in our lobby, and we'll have a rehearsal room where shows can be in rehearsal while a play is on the boards. Plus, behind us is the ocean, so catch some rays on the beach and come for a show."

Later on in the year, Storycrafter is planning programs of short plays and monologues as well as more full-length productions, plus a pair of haunting plays for Halloween. Follow its latest happenings - including open auditions for upcoming shows - at storycrafterstudio.com.

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