As City Theatre is about to raise the curtain on the 19th edition of its popular Summer Shorts Festival, its cofounder and literary director Susan Westfall is getting a major honor. In a ceremony at 7 p.m. on the festival’s official opening night Saturday, the stage of the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts will be named the Susan Westfall Playwrights Stage. The dedication reflects contributions from Westfall and her husband Alan Fein, chair-elect of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board, and the naming honors Westfall’s contributions to South Florida theater.
Westfall, who founded City Theatre in 1996 with Stephanie Norman and Elena Wohl, has also developed the national CityWrights playwrights’ conference, which will be held June 26-29 at Miami’s Epic Hotel. At City Theatre, Westfall has been involved in the presentation of more than 400 short plays, and her plays have been produced at City Theatre, the Arsht Center, Actors’ Playhouse, New Theatre, Teatro Avante and the Coconut Grove Playhouse. This year’s Summer Shorts begins performances on Thursday and runs through July 6 at the Carnival Studio Theater in the Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $40 and $45. For information, call 305-949-6722, visit www.arshtcenter.org or www.citytheatre.com.
Miami City Ballet has hired two Miami women for central fundraising and community outreach positions, expanding the administrative team that will work with incoming executive director Michael Scolamiero.
Eva Silverstein, a former fundraising and marketing executive at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, will join the ballet as director of development on June 15. While at the Arsht Center, Silverstein worked as a director of marketing and in the development department. Before moving to Miami in 2008, Silverstein was a dancer, choreographer, and founder of the New York-based Silver-Brown Dance Company, where she created outreach programs that included a free after-school dance program for children on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and a post-Katrina residency program in New Orleans.
Longtime Miami arts advocate Terry Schechter will take the newly created position of director of community outreach and special projects. A 15-year member and three-time president of the arts philanthropy group Funding Arts Network, Schechter is on the board of the Perez Art Museum Miami and an advisory board member at the Miami Theater Center. At the ballet, Schecter will leverage her community connections to implement outreach programs, develop educational programs and serve as a liason between the company and outside arts groups and artists.
‘MAIN STREET’ READING
Avi Hoffman, currently starring in the GableStage production of Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, is directing a free reading of The Shop on Main Street, a new musical based on the Oscar-winning film. With a book and lyrics by Bernard Spiro and music by David Nagy, the musical centers on the relationship of a widowed Jewish shopkeeper and a non-Jewish carpenter in a little Slovak town in 1942.
Featured in the cast are Amy Miller Brennan, Anita Keal, Peter Librach, Margot Moreland, Shane Tanner, Barry Tarallo and Hoffman. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. For information, call 305-445-1119 or visit www.gablestage.org.
‘ZORBA!’ IN CONCERT
Palm Beach Dramaworks continues its popular series of musicals in concert with Zorba!, a 1968 musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Joseph Stein. William Parry stars as Zorba the Greek, heading a cast that includes Jim Ballard, Nick Duckart, Laura Turnbull, Laura Hodos, Katherine Amadeo, Josh Lerner, Elizabeth Sackett, John Luaces, Ken Clement, Roland Rusinek, Cassandra Zepeda, Alyssa Fantel and Lindsay Bell. Clive Cholerton directs the show, with musical direction by Caryl Ginsberg Fantel.
Zorba! previews at 8 p.m. June 19 and opens June 20. Regular performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday through June 29. Tickets are $40. Dramaworks is at 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. For information, call 561-514-4042 or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.
The Greater Miami Symphonic Band will give its end-of-season concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, featuring bass trombone player David W. Brubeck as the evening’s soloist. Brubeck will perform the United States premiere of Concerto for Bass Trombone by Elizabeth Raum. The Washington Post March by John Phillip Sousa and five other works are also on the program.
The concert is at Gusman Hall on the University of Miami campus, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets are $15 ($5 for students and children). For information, call 305-273-7686 or visit www.gmsb.org.
NEW THEATRE SEASON
New Theatre has set the plays for its 29th season, its second at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. The 2014-2015 lineup begins with the world premiere of Vanessa Garcia’s Cuban Spring, a family drama about identity crises and sacrifice, in September-October. That will be followed in November-December by The Gospel According to Jerry, a play about a rabbi and a gospel singer, by Richard Krevolin and Irwin Kula. In January-February, New Theatre will present Reginald Rose’s classic jury room play Twelve Angry Men.
William Missouri Downs’ Woman Playing Hamlet, about an actress in an all-female production of Hamlet, will be done in April-May as part of a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. The new season will end in June 2015 with a production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park.
Five-play flexible subscriptions are on sale for $120 through June 30. For information, call 305-443-5909 or visit www.new-theatre.org.
• The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science presents the inaugural Curious Vault Collaborations exhibit, kicking it off with a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Local artist Sinisa Kukec and Andrew Baker, an associate professor of marine biology at the University of Miami, will explore the topic “Do Brain Corals Dream of Algal Symbionts?”. The duo’s massive brain coral piece simulates an actual coral reef through the use of brain coral, neon, acrylic two-way mirror, red oak, a soundtrack and electronics. Local writer Nathaniel Sandler and the museum’s art and collection manager Kevin Arrow are also on the panel. Cocktails and light bites will be served. The event is free and open to the public with an RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum is at 3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami. Call 305-646-4200 or visit www.miamisci.org.
• At the Perez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd., members of the New York-based art collective Yemenwed will will discuss their roles within the group, as well as the role of space in their collaborative works in architecture, painting, sculpture, animation, performance and music, as part of their PAMM Researchers-in-Residence program. The conversation is at 7 p.m. Thursday, and it’s free with museum admission. Call 305-375-3000, visit www.pamm.org or email email@example.com
• Shards of the Past: Pre-Colombian Art, an exhibit with 26 artifacts including figures, vessels, bowls, and plates (some of which are more than 2,000 years old), is on display through Aug. 31 at the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami. Students enrolled in the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program at FIU curated the exhibit from beginning to installation. Call 305-348-2890 or visit www.thefrost.fiu.edu.
• Swampspace unveils its new gallery space in the Design District, 3940 N. Miami Ave., Miami, with Low Tide Shopping, a group show featuring works by local artists Jeffrey Noble, Gary Fonseca, Diego Guzmán, Emmett Moore, Jason Hedges, Gustavo Oviedo, Jose Felix Perez, Johnny Laderer, and Mario M. Gonzalez. The opening reception is at 7 Saturday. For information, visit www.swampspace.blogspot.com.
• Two new exhibits on view at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach are Samurai Culture: Treasures of South Florida Collections and From a Quiet Place: The Paper Sculptures of Kyoko Hazama. Samurai Culture features samurai suits of armor and weapons fashioned during the Edo period (1600-1868). The other exhibit showcases elaborate paper sculptures far more complex than origami by Kyoko Hazama, who describes them as symbolic self-portraits made from washi, a traditional Japanese paper. Both are on view through Aug. 31 and are free with paid museum admission ($14 for adults, $13 seniors, $11 students, $9 for children 6-17, free for members and younger children). The museum is at 4000 Morikami Park Rd. Call 561-495-0233 or visit www.morikami.org.
• Also at the Morikami: Visit the Japanese gardens on Friday for the first “Sushi & Stroll Summer Walk” of the season. The event happens from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and it features taiko drum performances by Fushu Daiko, food from the museum’s Cornell Café, and craft sake from Stacole Fine Wines. Galleries are closed during these events, which will also take place July 11, Aug. 8 and Sept. 12. Admission at the gate is $8 for adults, $6 for children 4-10, and free for museum members and younger children. Food and drink are sold separately, and the taiko drum performance is an additional $2.
Christine Dolen, Jordan Levin and Galena Mosovich contributed to this report. Send news to cdolen@MiamiHerald.com (theater) jlevin@MiamiHerald.com (dance, pop and Latin music), jwooldridge@MiamiHerald.com (visual arts) or khamersly@MiamiHerald.com (jazz, classical music).