College theater brings commedia dell’arte to the stage with “scapino!”

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Scapino actors promotional photo.Scapino actors promotional photo number two.

MIAMI – Directed by NWSA theater faculty member James Randolph, New World School of the Arts continues the Spring theater season with Scapino! By Frank Dunlop and Jim Dale. Scapino. Also known as the "Trickster," Scapino is an archetypal figure used in commedia dell'arte, a theatre practice originating in Italy. In this modern adaptation of Moliere's farce ''Les Fourberies de Scapin,'' written in 1671 and reimagined, Scapino plans to help two pairs of lovers overcome parental opposition, which is not even there, and orchestrates things, so everyone is doing exactly what he plans.  

Scapino: Opens on Thursday, April 5, 7:00 PM. Performances on April 6 & 7 are at 7:30 PM, with a Sunday, April 8 matinee at 2:00 PM. Louise O. Gerrits Theater. 25 NE 2nd Street, 8th floor, Miami. General admission is $12; Students and seniors $5. Tickets available at For more information please call 305-237-3541.

“Old Greek comedy and New Greek comedy always featured a series of clowns and incredible and difficult scenarios and situations that seemed impossible to solve but somehow always were,” explained director Randoph. “Traditions of storytelling started with Ancient Greece then was adapted to Roman comedy, after the dark and Middle Ages where comedy was certainly not King, but theatre was used as a tool for the Catholic Church and to control the populace. This form was a cornerstone found during The Italian renaissance where the Commedia Dell'Arte form was really crystallized. The premise of this style of play was always simple; using the unities of time place and action - where the entire story takes place within 24 hours, and one plot where all the elements of story are wrapped up into one unified set of circumstances. This version, to be presented by NWSA college theater students reflecting more modern sensibilities, is based on Moliere's SCAPIN, from the 18th century, which then was adapted in the early 1970's by Frank Dunlop and Broadway actor Jim Dale. In these uncertain times the ability to laugh at the human condition will sometimes reach an audience more than those very hard and bitter truths, told through the toughest delivery of a tragedy. In comedy the truths of life on earth are no different than they are in dramatic plays but when the state of humanity is shown through humor an audience can relax, learn more about themselves quickly and of course have a great deal more fun.”

About James Randolph: James Samuel Randolph is an Associate Professor in the Theater Division at New World School of The Arts. As an actor he has appeared in over 100 plays, commercials, television shows and feature films. James is a member of Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He has performed in many Professional theatres in the region. He won a Carbonell Award in the dual roles of Belize and Mr. Lies in Angels in America at New Theatre. He appeared in a film short entitled Night and Day written by NWSA alum Tarell McCraney which was shown at Cannes's Film Festival’s Short Film Corner showcase in 2010. James played Martin Dysart in EQUUS at New Theatre and was named Best Supporting Actor of the Year by the New Times. He has appeared in various productions of the works of William Shakespeare, including Marcus Brutus in Julius Caesar, Feste in Twelfth Night and the title roles in Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. He was last seen in Tarell McCraney's CHOIR BOY at Gablestage. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals. He appeared a short film in the title role of Freddie of Wynwood, which premiered at The Miami International Film Festival. Some of his directorial credits include I have before me a Remarkable Document by a Young Lady from Rwanda at New Theatre, Noises Off at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and several seasons directing for City Theatre’s Summer Shorts. He has directed a wide variety of plays and musicals at New World, including the musical Into the Woods, Titanic The Musical, The Beaux Stratagem, Macbeth, The Country Wife, Spring Awakening, Jekyll and Hyde The Musical and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.  He has taught at The University of Miami, The University of Florida, and Barry University. James has trained professional actors as a consultant for the Theatre League of South Florida.  James has attended seminars and conferences in theatre including the International Conference on Arts and Humanities annually held in Hawaii, and he also attended an intensive on Shakespeare at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

About NWSA: A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative and academic development through a curriculum that reflects the rich multicultural state of Florida. With programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, NWSA offers four-year BFA and BM college degrees, as well as the high school diploma. Through its rigorous curriculum and conservatory-style teaching NWSA empowers its students to become leaders in the arts. 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, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

About NWSA’s Theater program: The New World School of the Arts theater program is dedicated to the professional training of talented and committed students interested in pursuing a performing career in theater and music theater, offering students an opportunity to work in a hands-on intensive, physically demanding, artistically challenging and exciting environment. Guided by faculty who are professional actors, directors, playwrights and designers, the curriculum is a progressive journey toward the ownership of a personal technique and a comprehensive methodology of working. The faculty guides the student through the discovery and exploration of self, the learning of diverse techniques used in our craft, intensive rehearsal process, and finally the application of this knowledge into dramatic forms and styles in productions. The NWSA College BFA program culminates each year with showcases in Miami and in New York City. Information about the NWSA Theater program is available by calling 305-237-3260, by visiting or by calling the main office at 305-235-3135.

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