Wednesday, June 12, 2024

FROM SCRATCH: A FESTIVAL OF STAGED READINGS BY MIAMI PLAYWRIGHTS

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Deering Estate at Cutler and the South Florida Theatre League, present From Scratch: a festival of staged readings by Miami Playwrights on Saturday, October 19 through Sunday, October 20, 2019 at the Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6103 NW 7th Avenue.  The festival will debut new work by playwrights participating in the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Playwright Development Program.

Through the Playwright Development Program, Master Playwright in Residence Sheri Wilner has guided Jessica Farr, Israel Garcia, Ean Kessler and Gina Montet over the past two-years in creating new plays. Sheri Wilner has twice been the Master Playwright for the Miami-Dade County Dept. of Cultural Affairs’ Playwright Development Program. Her short plays have been frequently produced by Miami’s City Theatre (Summer Shorts, Winter Shorts, Shorts Gone Wild and Shorts on Ships) as well as such major theatres as the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Her work has been published in over a dozen anthologies and have received over four hundred productions across the United States as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and India. Also an established playwriting teacher, Sheri is currently on the faculty of New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program and the Dramatists Guild Institute.

The From Scratch Festival showcases the following new full-length pieces and will have American Sign Language Interpreters for all performances.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

2:00 pm – Overactive Letdown by Gina Montet
Married and in love, Christine and Mark are eagerly expecting their first child. When the birth doesn’t go as planned, Christine’s anxious mind escapes to an imaginary world crafted from the movies she loves. Maternal instincts elude her and she pulls away, losing her grip on reality as the fantasies take over. Overactive Letdown is a revealing portrayal of motherhood and an intimate unveiling of the downward spiral of post-partum depression.

Gina Montet
A graduate of the University of Miami, Gina’s plays have been produced/developed by several theaters including, The Coconut Grove Playhouse, Florida Atlantic University Theatre Lab, Mangrove Creative Collective, Fantasy Theatre Factory at Sandrell Rivers Theater, The Playwright Center Minneapolis, The Greenhouse at Florida International University and The Center for Performing Arts Minneapolis. Gina’s environmental and literacy incentive plays for young audiences have been touring Florida since 2000 and continue to entertain and educate tens of thousands of Florida students each year.

5:00 pm – The Words of Dead Men by Israel Gardia
Two brothers find the last words written by their recently deceased dead-beat dad.  The question of what to do with the remains becomes the moral battle over forgiving versus forgetting, the existential wondering of a spiritual existence, and the general bloody noses and accidental poop that would normally follow.

Israel Gardia
Garcia has taught theatre for the past 20 years at Florida International University, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Florida Atlantic University, and Miami Dade College. Hia focus and passion is sharing theatre experiences with non-majors to broaden their understanding of culture, themselves, and the human condition, several of his students have taken the journey further and majored in Theatre at FIU.
Garcia has written short plays produced in Miami by White Rose Miami, Microtheatre, and New Theatre. His first full length play was developed through the Playwright Development Program and revised at the Playwright Center in Minneapolis.
He is a member of Actors’ Equity. Credits include classic roles such as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew and The Inquisitor in SAINT JOAN, as well as lead and supporting roles in contemporary plays, children’s theatre and musicals in South Florida venues such as New Theatre, Palm Beach Playhouse, and Actor’s Playhouse. He has also performed in theatre festivals in Orlando and Argentina. Credits also include television commercials and a featured “baddy” in Burn Notice, and the GBF in Freddie of Wynwood, a short film for the Miami International Film Festival. Awards and honors include two Carbonell Award nominations, the Silver Palm Award for Performance in 2010, the New Theatre Award for Best Actor (twice), as well as the Excellence in Teaching Award at FIU. He received his MFA in Performance from Florida Atlantic University.

Sunday, October 20, 2019
2:00 pm – Frankie Moon’s Long Gone by Ean Miles Kessler

A comedy about cancer.  Frank has decided to end chemo treatments, choosing instead to chain smoke his way to the bitter end.  This has spurred his son, Steve, to return home to care for his ailing father. In an attempt to get Frank to go back on treatments, Steve has hired Marty–a born again hospice aide, with a song in his heart.  The deal is this: if Frank goes back on treatments, Steve will fire Marty. If not…Marty stays…until the bitter, bitter end. A dark comedy about loss, death, and a father and son trying to meet somewhere in the middle.

Ean Miles Kessler
Kessler is a BFA Acting graduate of Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts. NYC Off-Broadway playwriting credits include:  Brotherly Love; King’s River; The Bcam; Beautiful Hands; and Devil Lay Me Down.  Beautiful Hands premiered at The Lion Theatre on Theater Row (Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival semi-finalist).  Ean’s play Devil Lay Me Down received its world premiere in Manhattan at Theater for the New City. His plays Brotherly Love and Funny Valentine are both published by Vintage Books. His play Mountain Kings was workshopped at the Playwright’s Center in 2018. Kessler has been a proud Dramatist Guild Member since 2012.

5:00 pm The Gulf by Jessica Farr
Narrated by a drone combing the South Eastern coastline, THE GULF, imagines a post-nuclear world where four relative strangers live together in a fallout shelter after the last in a series of nuclear bombs has hit the ravaged South Florida Coast. When one of the shelter’s inhabitants ventures out in search of food, the world outside of containment calls to them once more.

Jessica Farr
Farr is a writer, director, actor, and stand-up from Miami, FL. She is an alumnus of Fordham University Lincoln Center (B.A. Theatre) and Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT). She is a PDP grantee and recently a TCG artist grantee. Her plays The Gulf (2019) and Cassie (2018) were workshopped at The Playwrights Center. You may have heard her voice talent on original Netflix and HBO programming. She is a Miami New Times Mastermind Artist (2014), a multiple nominee for The Carbonell Awards, and a finalist for City Theatre’s National Playwriting Contest. She is playing the lead role in a pilot airing this Fall TBA, she will be debuting a sketch series Ashleigh and Jordynn’s Fitness Channel, and a new podcast Worst Place on Earth conceived of and performed by herself and co-conspirator Caleb Scott.

Sheri Wilner, Master Playwright
Wilner has twice been the Master Playwright for the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Playwright Development Program. Her short plays have been frequently produced by Miami’s City Theatre (Summer Shorts, Winter Shorts, Shorts Gone Wild and Shorts on Ships) as well as such major theatres as the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Guthrie Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Her work has been published in over a dozen anthologies and have received over four hundred productions across the United States as well as in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, and India. Also an established playwriting teacher, Sheri is currently on the faculty of New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program and the Dramatists Guild Institute.

About the Playwright Development Program
The Playwright Development Program, an initiative from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs in conjunction with the South Florida Theatre League and The Deering Estate at Cutler, is a series of weekend workshops over the span of two years led by nationally renowned playwrights. Started in 2001, the Program provides intensive support for cultivating new work from Miami’s growing and diverse community of playwrights.  It has successfully served as an incubator for new works that have been produced on Broadway, by major theaters nationally, including Christopher Demos Brown’s American Son which has been adapted as a special on Netflix, was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and had a successful run on Broadway starring Kerry Washington and Steven Pasquale,  Andie Arthur’s The Secret of the Biological Clock at the Atheneum Theatre in Chicago, Vanessa Garcia’s emersive work, The Amparo Experience at the Real Havana Club in Miami, David Caudle’s “Visiting Hours” at the Rising Shiners Theatre Company and Juan Sanchez’s “Buck Fever” at the Blue Heron Arts Center in New York City.

This program is managed under the guidance of Adriana Perez, Programs Administrator at the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and Andie Arthur, Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League. Sandi Stock serves as line producer of the staged readings.

About the Deering Estate at Cutler
The Deering Estate at Cutler, a Miami-Dade County Park, is located at 16701 SW 72 Avenue in Miami. This 444-acre natural and archeological preserve and historic site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a center for education, culture and recreation. Historic house tours are offered daily at 10:30 am & 3:00 pm and are free with Estate admission. For more information on the Deering Estate’s educational and cultural programs, please visit www.deeringestate.org.

About the South Florida Theatre League
South Florida Theatre League is an alliance of theatrical organizations and professionals dedicated to nurturing, promoting, and advocating for the growth and prestige of the South Florida theatre industry. https://southfloridatheatre.org/

About the Sandrell Rivers Theater
The Sandrell Rivers Theater is a new, state-of-the-art theater serving greater Miami & South Florida. Part of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the theater is named in honor of Chief Sandrell Rivers, a tireless arts advocate, artist and former employee of Miami-Dade County. The Theater is managed & operated by Fantasy Theatre Factory, one of Florida’s most venerated cultural institutions. https://www.sandrellriverstheater.com/

About the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs
The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.

It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any accommodation to participate in any Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs program or meeting, please contact Francine Andersen 305-375-4634 [email protected] at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service.)



Originally published at https://miamidadearts.org/news/scratch-festival-staged-readings-miami-playwrights

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