Rafael de Acha
Rafael de Acha co-founded New Theatre in 1986 with Kimberly Daniel and served as Artistic Director until May 2006. One of the many pioneers of the growing theatre movement in South Florida, he has, throughout 19 seasons at the helm of New Theatre, championed the work of American playwrights, producing and directing many world premieres of plays. He is a founding member of the Theatre League of South Florida, and has received several Carbonell Awards for Best Direction and Best Production. In addition to his work on new plays, he has directed many classic plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Moliere, Macchiavelli, and the Greeks, some in his own translations, and has worked actively to provide an artistic home for minority artists: actors, playwrights and designers who work at New Theatre, in the spirit of a repertory company.
A trained musician, he has staged many opera productions throughout the country and abroad, including the American stage premieres of operas by Handel and Mozart for Boston's New England Chamber Opera Group, which he founded while still a student at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned a Master's Degree in Opera and Voice. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Curtain Up Awards organization and similar awards from The Dade County Cultural Alliance and The Miami Arts Exchange. He has also served as panelist for Dade County's Department of Cultural Affairs, The State of Florida's Division of Cultural Affairs, Theatre Communications Group, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Keenly interested in the educational aspects of theatre, he spearheaded the "Five Bucks" program of discounted tickets for students in Dade County, and has taught workshops on Shakespeare for The Theatre League of South Florida's Actors Process. The Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel have repeatedly named New Theatre and its productions among the year's best. Miami New Times has frequently named New Theatre 'Best Theatre in South Florida' and Rafael de Acha 'Best Director'.
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