Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre aids young artists, does a reading and puts on a play

07/27/2014 12:00 AM

07/26/2014 11:17 PM

Next month is a busy one for Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre Company, as it supports young talent, puts on a show and launches a banned-play reading series at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

The company is giving some scratch to a pair of talented artists in the form of $1,000 scholarships. New World School of the Arts high school grad Cheyenne Nicole Hardy, who performed in 13 plays during high school, will use her money to attend Columbia College in Chicago. Florida Atlantic University’s Kayla Bussel, who will graduate at the end of the summer, will become an apprentice at Sarasota’s Florida Studio Theatre in the fall, with the ultimate goal of becoming an artistic director. Both young women will receive their checks and an engraved crystal award at the Aug. 16 opening of Mad Cat’s just-announced summer show.

The show is Centralia, a piece written by the London-based Superbolt Theatre, whose members tell a story based on a real underground coal fire that burned for years and caused nearly all of a Pennsylvania town’s inhabitants to flee. Mad Cat founder-artistic director Paul Tei will stage the show, which is still being cast. Centralia will run Aug. 14-31 at Miami Theater Center’s SandBox, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, with tickets priced at $30 (tickets for opening night, which include food and drink beginning at 7 p.m., are $50). Call 866-811-4111 or visit www.madcattheatre.org.

At the end of the month, Mad Cat will present a free staged reading of playwright (and former Czech president) Vaclav Havel’s Audience, a play about a dissident writer who is forced to work in a brewery and forbiddent to publish. The event happens at 8 p.m. Aug. 27 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, with another reading to follow Sept. 24.

Joining council

Four new members have been added to the board of the 24-person Broward Cultural Council, which advises the Broward County Commission on programs and the distribution of resources for the performing arts, visual arts, the literary arts, museums, festivals and the county’s Public Art & Design Program.

The new members are Caryl Ginsburg Fantel, music director for the Carbonell Awards and numerous theatrical productions; Heather Brinkworth, a member of Broward’s school board; Caryl Hattan, curriculum facilitator at Miramar’s Whispering Pines School; and Ebonni Bryant, who heads the company The Idea, Inc.

For more info on the Broward Cultural Division, visit www.broward.org/arts.

Readings set

Monday brings a trio of play readings to South Florida, with events set at GableStage in Coral Gables, Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale and Teatro Prometeo in Miami.

Actors Alex Alvarez, Margarita Coego, Betsy Graver, Kim Ostrenko and Gregg Weiner form the cast of Lactose, a Bob Lind play that will be directed by Margaret M. Ledford. The play is about a documentary journalist who squares off against a libertine poet, and the ways in which their interviews force her to reexamine her beliefs. The reading is set for 7:30 p.m. at GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Visit www.gablestage.org for more information.

The other two readings are part of the ongoing 2014 Summer Theatre Fest sponsored by the South Florida Theatre League. Pigs Do Fly Productions will read Marj O’Neill-Butler’s Desperation, a play about two mature sisters looking for love with the help of friends in their book club. Directed by the playwright, the reading features Patricia Wakely Wolf, Peter Galman, Leigh Bennett, Karen Stephens, Beverly Blanchette and Carol Sussman. It happens at 7:30 p.m. at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Also Monday, Tres Marías by Hector Pino will be read at 8 p.m. at Teatro Prometeo on Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., Miami. Joann María Yarrow directs the satire about three Latina girlfriends who share shattering revelations that may break their bond. For information, visit www.southfloridatheatre.com.

Visual arts

• MAC Fine Art presents RE, a group show curated by Rochi Llaneza. The show explores the waste hierarchy and the three components of environmentally responsible consumer behavior (reduce, reuse and recycle) via the work of artists Nestor Arenas, Julie Friel, Xavier Cortada, Milcho and Karelle Levy. The show is on view through mid-August at 833 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-990-5420 or visit www.macfineart.com.
• NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale welcomes New York-based Thomas J. Lax, curator of When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South, for a discussion at 6 p.m. Saturday. An opening reception for the exhibition follows from 7 to 9 p.m. The talk is free with museum admission, and reservations are required by calling 954-262-0221 or emailing cswilson@moafl.org. The museum is at 1 E. Las Olas Blvd.. Call 954-525-5500 or visit www.moafl.org for more information.
• The second Feast Miami vegan and gluten-free pop-up dinner to support the local arts scene is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 3 at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. At the event, diners will vote for one of five projects to be funded. A minimum donation of $60 per person is suggested, and participants will enjoy a Japanese-inspired meal with cocktails and dessert prepared by chef Loren Pulitzer of Meals That Heal using only organic and locally sourced ingredients. Space is limited, and tickets can be purchased at www.feastmiami.org. For more information, email feast@feastmiami.org.
• The National YoungArts Foundation is showing the first alumni exhibition on the YoungArts campus, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, through Sept. 12. New Voices: Works by Recent YoungArts Alumni, curated by the organization’s master teacher and discipline coordinator Loni Johnson, features 46 works by 30 alumni in visual arts, photography and writing. The exhibition is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and by appointment on the weekends (closed Mondays). Call 305-377-1140 or visit www.youngarts.org.

Dance workshop

Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick will teach a free, weeklong intensive dance workshop from Monday through Friday at Ironflower Fitness in South Miami. The course, which Nick also taught last summer, will focus on strength and flexibility as well as post-modern dance vocabulary, movement skills, repertory and composition. The workshop will serve as an audition for the 2015 season of Nick’s Alma Dance Theatre but is open to all dancers.

The course runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday at Ironflower, 6840 SW 81st Ter., Miami. Call 305-661-4317 or visit www.marissaalmanick.com or www.ironflowerfitness.net for more information .

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).

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