No need to worry about the traffic this season. Theater programs from Miami to Palm Beach are available online.
▪ “Zoo Motel,” Miami Light Project and Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental production, streamed live from Colombia. Previews at 8 p.m. Sept. 27-Oct. 4, opens 8 p.m. Oct. 5; regular performances at 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, through Oct. 25. Tickets are $35. miamilightproject.com or zoomotel.org.
Director-actor-playwright Thaddeus Phillips has performed for and collaborated with Miami Light Project twice before, but the world premiere of his new immersive and interactive piece “Zoo Motel” is something entirely different. Created by Phillips, with design by Obie Award winner Steven Dufala, magic by Steve Cuiffo and direction by Tatiana Mallarino, “Zoo Motel” creates 21 virtual rooms for theatergoers inside Phillips’ studio on the outskirts of Bogota.
Inspired by Orson Welles and Robert Lepage, Phillips interacts live with each audience, incorporating magic, choreography by a Spanish-Ukranian dance team and contemplation of what the artist calls “our connections in the current disconnection.”
Potentially the most exciting, creative way of luring audiences back to live theater safely is Miami New Drama’s commissioned “7 Deadly Sins.” The company asked seven stellar playwrights to craft short plays about the forbidden vices, and the results are in: “Envy” by Hilary Bettis, “Lust” by Nilo Cruz, “Greed” by Moisés Kaufman, “Gluttony” by Rogelio Martinez, “Wrath” by Dael Orlandersmith, “Pride” by Carmen Pelaez and “Sloth” by Aurin Squire.
Exact dates this fall are still pending, but here’s how the experience will work: Audiences will gather in the 1100 block of Lincoln Road, with 10 people at a time (masked, socially distanced and separated from other audience groupings) watching a play performed by actors inside seven storefronts. The audio will be accessible via each audience member’s own headphones. Audience groups will move from play to play for an experience lasting about 90 minutes. Artistic director Michel Hausmann, who will stage all of the shows, anticipates that “7 Deadly Sins” will run about 2 ½ months in English, followed by another long run in Spanish.
▪ “Little Montgomery,” New City Players podcast releasing episodes weekly throughout October beginning Oct. 2. www.newcityplayers.org/littlemontgomery.
Yes, it’s a free podcast – think theater of the mind, the descendent of a radio play – but the piece by Stephen Brown was born as a traditional play. The story of two 14-year-olds plotting revenge against a country music star features South Florida actors Krystal Millie Valdes, Casey Sacco, David A. Hyland, Gregg Weiner, Elizabeth Price and Timothy Mark Davis, who also directs. It’s free and available via any podcast platform.
New City, partnering with the Broward County Cultural Division, also commissioned original digital plays accessible on its web site. Joshua Jean-Baptiste wrote and directed “Click Clack,” about an overprotective Haitian mother and her law school grad daughter. Vanessa Garcia contributed the bilingual “40,” about Cuban-American cousins unnerved by a strange car. Ilana Jael’s “Computer Man” is about a pair of students on the spectrum as they navigate a shut-down college campus. Darius V. Daughtry’s “Judge Mablean Said” focuses on a married couple working on the front lines during the pandemic. Eytan Deray’s “Six Feet Away” is about two men being whose relationship is fraying because of the risks that come with work during the pandemic.
▪ “Camelot,” digital version by Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Oct. 14-18. www.actorsplayhouse.org.
Though the pandemic shut down the planned Actors’ Playhouse production of “Camelot” in the spring, you can’t keep an Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe classic – nor a determined artistic director like David Arisco – down. The company is reassembling the show’s key stars virtually for a song-driven, hour-long version of the show, to be streamed eight times: Oct. 14 at 3 and 8 p.m., Oct. 15-16 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 17-18 at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $30, though subscribers and current ticketholders are exempt.
Britt Michael Gordon plays King Arthur, with Kayleen Seidl as Guenevere, Nick Fitzer as Lancelot, Sean Patrick Doyle as Mordred and Orlando Rodriguez as Young Tom. David Nagy will serve as musical director for the show, which will be broadcast on Music Theatre International’s new streaming platform.
▪ “Songs for a New World,” Slow Burn Theatre production in the Peck Courtyard at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Dec. 18-Jan. 3. www.browardcenter.org or www.slowburntheatre.org.
Slow Burn, the Broward Center’s resident theater company, returns to live productions with “Songs for a New World,” the first show by Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown, whose credits include “Parade,” “The Bridges of Madison County” and “The Last Five Years.”
The piece, a 90-minute song cycle about making choices at critical moments, will be staged by Slow Burn artistic director-choregrapher Patrick Fitzwater in the center’s open-air Peck Courtyard, with masks and social distancing required. Tickets are $49 to $65.
▪ “Las aventuras de Juan Planchard,” Miami New Drama-Tectonic Theater Project free virtual reading at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 of scenes from the first Spanish-language play by celebrated playwright-director Moisés Kaufman. www.colonymb.org.
The director and “Laramie Project” author (with members of his Tectonic Theater Project) has long wanted to write a play about the brutal political and economic devastation of his native Venezuela, and in Jonathan Jakubowicz’s bestselling novel “Las aventuras de Juan Planchard,” he found the inspiring spark.
Scenes from the play will be performed in Spanish with English subtitles, and Kaufman will direct a cast featuring Venezuelan and Venezuelan-American actors Daniela Bascopé, Elba Escobar, María Gabriela de Farias, Rafael De La Fuente, Christian McGaffney, Iván Tamayo, Franklin Virguez and Amanda-Lynn Williams. After the YouTube debut of the reading, Kaufman, Jakubowicz and Miami New Drama artistic director Michel Hausmann will have a live Zoom conversation, and plans are to premiere the play in Miami when live indoor productions are possible.
▪ Playwright’s Forum and MasterClass Series, virtual events from Theatre Lab in Boca Raton, Oct. 4-25. www.fau.edu/theatrelab.
Artistic director Matt Stabile has pushed his planned season of world premieres to 2021-2022, given the pandemic and the intimacy of the professional company’s space on the Florida Atlantic University campus. But he’s filling October with new virtual weekly sessions from Theatre Lab’s MasterClass[cq] series and Playwright’s Forum. Master classes cost $30 and take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m., with Zoom readings at 4 p.m. priced at $15.
Playwright Rachel Teagle is up first on Oct. 4, with a master class followed by a reading of her play “The Impracticality of Modern-Day Mastodons” and a talkback. Jeff Bower teaches and has a reading of a new audio play followed by a talkback Oct. 11. Jahna Ferron-Smith is featured Oct. 18, Vanessa Garcia on Oct. 25.
▪ Drama(in the)Works and Dramalogue: Talking Theatre!, Palm Beach Dramaworks free virtual programming. www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.
The award-winning West Palm Beach theater company has put its live 2020-2021 season on hold, but artistic director William Hayes and his colleagues are providing robust digital offerings accessible to anyone, no drive required (although online reservations are a must).
The Drama(in the)Works series provides readings of Dominic Finocchiaro’s “how it feels to fall from the sky”[cq all lower case] at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 and Oren Safdie’s “Imminent Domain” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. In Dramalogue: Talking Theatre!, Hayes engages a variety of theater artists in conversation weekly at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2 brings a conversation with actor, director and Dramaworkshop manager Bruce Linser, followed by actor John Leonard Thompson Oct. 9, scenic designer Michael Amico Oct. 16, actor Patti Gardner Oct. 23 and actor Dennis Creaghan Oct. 30.
Details of two additional reading series, Contemporary Voices and Classic Play Readings, will be announced soon, and the company’s annual New Year/New Plays Festival will go virtual Jan. 8-10, 2021.