New Playwrights’ Festival explores Fantasy & fiction; comedy & drama; anxiety & death

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MIAMINew World School of the Arts presents its 25th annual New Playwrights’ Festival. The 2015 Festival features eight original short plays written by current New World School of the Arts High School and College Students. Thisyear there will be one student-directed and seven faculty-directed productions. The festival allows young student playwrights from both the high school andcollege the unique opportunity to experience what is like to workshop an original play.
 
“The students gain a deeper understanding of the challenges of rewrites and other adjustments that must be made when producing original work. They learn thatplaywriting begins as a solitary endeavor, and then develops into a collaborative art form once the director, designers and actors become involved. Each artist contributes to the shape of the final, produced play,” said 2015 Festival Coordinator, Pamela Roza Hayes.
 
The Playwrights’ Festival runs April 17; 4:30 & 7:30 PM and April 18; 2:00 & 7:30 PM. Louise O. Gerrits Theatre.
25 NE 2 Street, 8th floor, downtown Miami. Tickets are $5, available at http://nwsa.mdc.edu.
 
The eight short plays run the gamut from science fiction and fantasy, to comedy and then to serious drama. Characters struggle with social anxiety and with accepting personal responsibility and the subjects of death, isolation, and connection are examined through comic and tragic approaches. The production’s first Act begins with “Seeing” by Gena Sims (Senior/HS – dir. Eddie Brown, Adjunct Faculty); a story about patience and courage; then “Who Cut The Cheese” by Daniela Vazquez and Katerina McCrimmon (Juniors/HS – dir. Maria Elena Garcia, Faculty); a comedy of manners; followed by “Luke” by Vida Talab (Junior/HS – dir. Ryan Grill, Senior/HS); which explores what happens if you get what you want; and the Act ends with “Strawberry Jam” by Lauren DeLeon (Senior/HS – dir. David Kwiat) an examination of how the most trivial things can drive peopleapart. Act two resumes with “Zero Degrees” by Khandis Merritt (Junior/HS – dir. Aaron Alpern, Adjunct Faculty); a study of loyalty and sacrifice; followed by “Swing” by Miles Simpson-Quigley (Junior/HS – dir. Pamela Roza Hayes, Faculty); a story of estrangement and second chances; then there’s “Casper the Not So Friendly Ghost” by Domenic Servidio (Junior/College – dir. Anne McAdams, Faculty); examining how to handle a roommate who just won’t leave; and finally, “Movie Night” by Luis Herrera (Junior/College – dir. David Kwiat, Faculty); a play about saying what needs to be said while there is still time.

About Pamela Roza Hayes: Pamela Roza Hayes has been acting professionally for 25 years. She has performed at GableStage, Actor’s Playhouse, New Theatre, Mad Cat Theatre Company, Women’s Theatre Project, Florida Shakespeare Theatre, Area Stage Company, Promethean Theatre, Mosaic Theatre, The Shores Theatre, ACME, Juggerknot Theatre Company, Hollywood Playhouse, and Treasure Island Studio Theatre. Mrs. Hayes has been nominated (as Pamela Roza) for three Carbonells and has won two. She was named New Times Best of Miami Best Actress in 2002. Mrs. Hayes’ directing credits include How to Eat Like a Child at Broward College and James Thurber's A Thurber Carnival, in FAU's 2008 Summer Repertory Festival Series, and assistant directing and serving as dialect coach at Promethean Theatre for their production of Still the River Runs in 2009. Mrs. Hayes holds a BFA from Mississippi University for Women and an MFA from Florida Atlantic University. Mrs. Hayes teaches Acting, Voice, Speech and Theatre History at New World School of the Arts High School.
 
About the NWSA Theater program: Theater and music theater students at NWSA hone their craft through acting technique, movement and speech classes, focusing on fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation. With performance at its core, training is based on the classical texts and the principles of drama as well as practical incursions into the contemporary and experimental edges of theater. Consequently, alumni are found performing onstage nationally and internationally and their talent and vision are recognized and highly regarded in the industry.
 
More information about the NWSA Theater division at 305-237-3541. For information about New World School of the Arts please call 305-237-3135.
 
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, MiamiDade College and the University of Florida.