8567 Coral Way #355
Miami, FL 33155
Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211 Street
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
New Theatre wins BIG
at the South Florida Festival closing night party.
2008 South Florida Theatre Festival Audience Favorite for Miami-Dade County
New Theatre's World Premiere of The Mission by Jules Tasca
The Silver Palm Award for Outstanding New Work
The Mission by Jules Tasca
The Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Performances
Ricky Waugh for The Mission
New Times Best of Miami 2006
Euriamis Losada in Romeo and Juliet
So he has the chops, the looks and most of all the voice and the presence. And, while no single performance ever could exhaust the possibilities of any Shakespearean role, Euriamis Losada's Romeo was a triumph: impulsive, young and sexy, but also in precociously masterful command of the heavenly music that is Shakespeare's language. This Romeo's banter with Nicholas Richberg's fine Mercutio alone would have been reason to cheer: clever dialogue that was at once of its time and timeless, made to titillate and entertain with its sensual possibilities even as one could not help admiring the craft of play and players alike. There was also more than a touch in Losada's performance that is too rare among young American actors, a disarming desire to conspire with the audience in making the play work, to play to them with no apologies, to shatter all barriers between the performance and its witnesses. Losada's final scene in Rafael de Acha's Romeo and Juliet had New Theatre audiences in tears. His complex Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, incidentally, proved that his Romeo was no one-time fluke. Here is a young actor to watch.
Best Supporting Actress
Kimberly Daniel in Romeo and Juliet
There really are no small roles in Shakespeare. Were it not for the splendor of the cast surrounding her, Kimberly Daniel would have found it easy to simply steal the show as the Nurse in Rafael de Acha's Romeo and Juliet. As it was, she was just right in a character that can easily slip into vulgarity. Shakespeare's bits of comic relief are always on the verge of being too much, too broad, too big a temptation for lazy actors and directors who carelessly bulldoze through the verbal thickets to elicit the easy laugh. Daniel was funny enough, believe us. But she was as real as she was touching. And, for all her bawdy humor, this Nurse's discovery of Juliet's limp body was a heart-rending moment of raw emotion made all the more devastating by her ability to remain true to the play's glorious language.
Best Acting Ensemble
The Shakespeare Project
There is no tougher test for a company -- and no bigger thrill for an audience -- than the miracle that is Shakespeare. And miracles are just what this annual summer festival makes: The play's the thing, and Rafael de Acha's ensemble works with boundless generosity at the New Theatre, at its best persuading us that American English is the ideal instrument for bringing to life the Bard's glorious verbal music. This is no easy task, by the way, and perhaps chief among the many joys of this Shakespeare extravaganza is that it so seldom feels like hard work -- on either side of the footlights. De Acha, Florida's busiest man in show biz, does everything, from caressing the best out of his actors to editing the scripts with a practical eye and even composing his own music with his heart on his sleeve. Best of all, this work of love is an ongoing affair: If you missed the last one or simply didn't get enough with The Shakespeare Project's last trio of Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth, plans are afoot for more Shakespeare in the summer. This is South Florida theater at its best.
Best New Drama
J.T. Rogers is a major new American talent, and his Madagascar is a ravishing new play. It is witty and literate, serious yet also seriously entertaining, a daring nonlinear tale that crisscrosses time with Proustian ease, a poignant sonata of grief that proved immensely moving in its Florida premiere at the New Theatre, directed by Ricky J. Martinez with dramatic talent. The plot of this devastating little masterpiece is simple: Someone has disappeared, perhaps forever, possibly to some exotic place like Madagascar. This mysterious premise generates many more questions than it answers, about memory and loss, about human resilience -- and about theater itself. The Florida premiere at the New Theatre had everything: the spectacle of a young playwright's work allowed to blossom to full splendor; a directorial tour de force; superb acting by the trio of Kathryn Lee Johnston, Angie Radosh, and Bill Schwartz; and the constant surprise of a perfect chamber piece carrying monumental emotional echoes. This one stays with you. A playwright needs a safe place to go from page to stage, and this is the place in South Florida to get the news from the frontiers of American drama. Intimate, intense, and consistently, immensely enjoyable, New Theatre is true to its mission of discovery at a time when too many companies around the country shy away from new plays. Does everything work? Of course not. But the thrill is in the search, and the actors and directors in this little powerhouse in the Gables at their best make a persuasive case for nurturing dramatic talent. The search paid off in Madagascar. And it's probably no accident that New Theatre is also the place to rediscover the genius of Shakespeare as summer rolls around.
Ricky J. Martinez
His work has spanned the centuries this season, from assisting Rafael de Acha in the ambitious Shakespeare Project to taking the reins of new plays like Day of Reckoning and Madagascar. He is as fearless as he is generous, making the most of whatever is on the page and letting his actors find their often-surprising best. Martinez watches their back: No one looks bad onstage when this man is in charge, and his choices in everything from the subtlest gestures to the broadest strokes resonate with the feeling of truth.
The following are nominations made to New Theatre artists by the 30th Annual Carbonell Awards Committee for work done elsewhere in the region or at our theatre. Congratulations to each and every one of our colleagues!
- Best New Work Clarence Darrow's Last Trial by Shirley Lauro at New Theatre
- Best New Work Wait and See by Michael McKeever at New Theatre
- Best Supporting Actor: Nicholas Richberg in Romeo and Juliet at New Theatre
- Best Supporting Actress: Lela Elam in Touch at New Theatre
- Best Set Design: by Jesse Dreikosen of Madagascar at New Theatre
AND TO Bridget Connors, Patti Gardner, Kathryn Lee Johnston, David Kwiat, Euriamis Losada, Michael McKeever , Lisa Morgan and Estela Vrancovich for work done around South Florida.