Friday, December 30, 2011

Blog Watch: South Florida Theater Year in Review

In lieu of this week's Blog Watch here are 3 "Year in Review" articles from around South Florida.

Bill Hirschman's 2011 Year in Review: StageBill Blog: Looking Back At The Year of the Sea Change at Florida Theatre On Stage

In real life, we rarely have the clarity of identifiable watersheds as heroes discover in dramas. But five years from now, you’ll likely look back on the past 12 months and recognize not a turning point, but an unmistakable moment within a slow sea change in South Florida theater.

An adolescence of dinner theater warhorses has been left behind in favor of contemporary adult, if stubbornly mainstream fare – illuminated by intermittent flashes of daring artistry. The past year was strewn with demonstrable evidence that standards are tougher, expectations are higher, ambitions are loftier and enthusiasm (no matter how battered) has survived economic tragedies.

Christine Dolan's 2011 Year in Review:  Moves, Money, and Magic Mark Year article at the Miami Herald
Dramatic turmoil and movement claimed center stage at several of the region’s professional theaters in 2011. A small but growing community of playwrights turned out several gems, new plays that are likely to live on after their local world premieres. And though the economy still played the villain at too many companies, inventive artists delivered award-worthy work — great productions, indelible performances — throughout the region.

And Hap Erstein for the Palm Beach Arts Paper with his 2011 Year in Review: Despite Loss And Economic Woes, 2011 Was Impressive Year For Local Theater
It was a precarious year in theater in South Florida, with the sudden devastating demise of West Palm Beach’s Florida Stage, not quite offset by the expanded potential for Palm Beach Dramaworks in its new, larger space.

Zoetic Stage debuted in Miami with its impressive repertory company of area actors, while announced, but not yet open, are Parade Productions in Boca Raton and The Theater at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, presumably poised to shore up the battered theater landscape. Also still to come is Caldwell 2, a second stage offshoot of the Boca company, though two announced attempts to open in the new Mizner Park Cultural Center both were scrubbed for lack of time and resources.

Still, despite the challenges of the economy, there was plenty of impressive theater locally in 2011. Here are my highly subjective picks for 10 standouts.


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