Performing Arts

2015 Summer Theatre Fest will feature readings, free theater and more

Vanessa Garcia’s play ‘Grace, Sponsored by Monteverde’ will be read during the 2015 Summer Theatre Fest.
Vanessa Garcia’s play ‘Grace, Sponsored by Monteverde’ will be read during the 2015 Summer Theatre Fest. Ozzie Rodriguez

South Florida’s playwrights and theater companies are gearing up for the 2015 Summer Theatre Fest, a summer-long celebration of the region’s theatrical riches sponsored by the South Florida Theatre League. Throughout the festival, the league will take a portable stage to various theaters and invite audience members to “Step Onto Our Stage” to be photographed and interviewed about their theater experiences.

Each Monday from June 1 through Aug. 24, different theaters in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will host play readings. Among the playwrights whose new works will be read are Vanessa Garcia, Christopher Demos-Brown, Andie Arthur, Guillermo Ramon, Carol White, Leah Roth Barsanti, Bob Bowersox, Thomas McLaughlin, Gina Montet, Patricia Wakely Wolf and Jessica Farr.

As of June 10, anyone can enter a lottery for free theater tickets to several productions during the month of July. The online lottery closes June 24, and theater fans will find out if they’ve won on June 29. Enter at once the lottery link becomes active. Participating theaters include Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks and Evening Star Productions, with more companies expected to join.

Also part of Summer Theatre Fest is an Aug. 31 event called “The Dana Plays.” Honoring the late Women’s Theatre Project board member and theater volunteer Dana Castellano, the evening of new short plays about hope will raise money for one of her favorite charities, the Humane Society.

For information about Summer Theatre Fest, visit


Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman will be the keynote speaker at the fifth annual CityWrights Professional Weekend for Playwrights June 25-28 at Miami’s Epic Hotel. Norman, who won her Pulitzer for ‘night, Mother, also wrote the books for the Broadway musicals The Secret Garden, The Color Purple, The Bridges of Madison County and the upcoming King Kong.

Norman’s talk will address the conference theme, Building a Bridge Across the Gender Divide. She’ll be among the gathering’s master artists, along with OBIE Award-winning playwright Susan Bernfield, Dramatists Guild Traveling Master Cusi Cram, playwright Leslie Ayvazian and playwriting teacher Michael Bigelow Dixon.

Sponsored by City Theatre during its annual Summer Shorts Festival and coordinated by literary director Susan Westfall, the conference includes workshops, panels and readings. For information, visit


This month’s Third Thursday event at the Pérez Art Museum Miami involves music, happy hour food and drink specials, art-making and a social media-based gallery scavenger hunt for prizes. The jazz funk band Psychic Mirrors will play on the museum’s east portico during the gathering from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, and everything except the drinks and food is free with a regular $16 museum admission (that charge is waived for members). Folks who ride the Metromover get in free from 6 to 7 p.m. (take the Omni loop to the Museum Park station).

The Poplife Social will allow participants to create their own art on the terrace and see Again Against, A Foot, A Back, A Wall, a new project by Shana Lutker. PAMM is at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Call 305-375-3000 or visit for information.

Christine Dolen