TALK THROUGH IT ◊ EPISODE THIRTEEN
BELOW IS STUART MELTZER’S WELCOME TO THE NEW SEASON!
Welcome to the 2019/20 Zoetic Stage season!
I am very excited to talk about our upcoming programming as part of the Theatre Up Close series at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is our 9th full season at the Arsht Center! We at Zoetic Stage couldn’t think of a better arts partner for the work we contribute to the wide and impressive South Florida cultural scene. What’s even more impressive than anchoring nine years of the Theatre Up Close series is the fact that we are opening this season with our 30th production! If you’ve been with us since the beginning, we thank you for going on the journey with us. If you are new to Zoetic Stage, we hope you’ll travel with us for the next 30 productions. As the artistic director of this company, I’ve encouraged conversation about the experience after the performance regarding themes of the pieces. This year, we will have a plethora to discuss and engage in each other with.
Opening our season is the widely anticipated play The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe. The New York Times considers The Wolves to be in the 25 Best American Plays since Angels in America and here is a groundbreaking reason why. Girls soccer! At a time when our country can’t unite on much, we came together and rooted for the power of the US Women’s National Soccer team. The Wolves is not about them- necessarily. The play centers on the lives and experiences of nine high school girls through their weekly Saturday morning pre-game soccer warm-ups, using their team and relationships as a metaphor for survival in twenty first century America.
Not sure if you heard but Zoetic Stage co-founder, Christopher Demos-Brown (Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Stripped, Fear Up Harsh, Captiva) had a play on Broadway last season called American Son. Zoetic Stage will be the first regional theatre after that production to to present this incredibly important work. We call it a homecoming and also feel that it is one of the most important plays to see this season. Set in a Miami police station in the middle of the night, two parents search for their missing teenage son, who happens to be African American.
Continuing our run through the Stephen Sondheim cannon of masterworks, we will bring to South Florida one of his most beloved and popular titles, A Little Night Music. Adapted for the stage from Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer, Night, the musical explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt, and the men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. When actress performs in Fredrik’s town, the estranged lovers’ passion rekindles, effecting everyone around them. A Little Night Music will be our fifth Sondheim production after Assassins, Passion, Sunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd.
American Theatre magazine hails Hannah Benitez as one of America’s playwrights to watch. Her play GringoLandia will receive a world premiere this season and I am thrilled to bring this real-life Miami story to South Florida. GringoLandia is a deeply touching and funny play about a Cuban man returning to the country from which he escaped 50 years ago on a quest to recover a precious family heirloom. He brings is two American kids with him and together, the family embarks on a journey of closure and truth, and an examination of their cultural identities.
We are also embarking on a full new play reading series this year. I encourage you to be part of the process in development of new work. Come check out readings and give your feedback about your experience. Our readings are free and will be held in the Peacock Education Center at the Arsht Center
December 9, 2019: GringoLandia by Hannah Benitez
January 13, 2020: Little Women by Donna Hoke
March 30, 2020: Strange Little Predicaments by Stuart Meltzer
May 18, 2020: Fake News of a Shooting by Christopher Demos-Brown
It is going to be a wonderful year at Zoetic Stage and I am honored to serve this community with evocative and engaging works that weaves together the American experience.