Faith and Philosophy Face Off

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Pictured L to R: Hannah Benitez, Javier Del Riego, Stephen G. Anthony, Abdiel Vivancos, Larry Bramble, Gregg Weiner, Natalia Coego

*Excerpt from Miami New Times review by John Thomason:

“Ives seems to suggest Spinoza was to philosophy what Mozart was to music – a brilliant, youthful disrupter. And he’s given the philosopher dialogue that’s so unabashedly lyrical that if it came from anyone else, it would seem purple and pompous. But it rolls of Vivancos’ tongue with ease, beauty, sly humor, and the confidence of someone who knows he’s right.”

“The format of New Jerusalem is similar to that of a modern courtroom drams (albeit one in which the verdict is pretty much rigged). Director Joseph Adler paces the action accordingly and invisibly – points and counterpoints fly with the rat-a-tat-tat excitement of a machine gun. Adler’s direction is breathless but easy to follow…”

New Jerusalem is about reason, faith, and intolerance, but it is most profoundly about how persuasive arguments can enlighten minds. Isn’t that what we look for in any great play?

Read the full review here.

 

*Excerpt from The Miami Herald review by Christine Dolen:

“David Ives’ New Jerusalem is set in 1656, and it’s about the herem of excommunication, of philosopher Baruch de Spinoza from Amsterdam’s Talmud Torah congregation. But as director Joseph Adler’s new production at GableStage demonstrates, the 2008 Off-Broadway play is no stuffy historical drama.

“What makes New Jerusalem worth watching, even for those who know little about the rationalist many consider the most relevant 17th century philosopher, are the company’s largely powerful performances and the play’s many resonant human moments. Those would include betrayal by a friend, the hopelessness of a forbidden love, understanding twisted into vengeance.”

Vivancos is a fascinating Spinoza, a questing and gentle spirit who finds God in places his accusers would never consider. His delight in following the exploratory trails of his ideas shows as radiance on his face. yet when faced with banishment from family and community, from all that he has known, he’s strong and stoic.”

Read the full review here.

 

*Excerpt from FloridaTheaterOnstage.com review by Bill Hirschman:

“Vivancos, former Miamian who appeared in GableStage’s Masked, creates a fascinatingly flawed protagonist. His Spinoza exudes a likable charisma and a blithe self-destructiveness pursuing what he knows his community will consider heresy. Holy energy and passion virtually shine from Vivancos.”

“But the strongest work of the evening comes from Bramble who has made a modest reputation playing classic Jewish seniors at Broward Stage Door. Finally given a meaty role as well as a fine director, Bramble delivers a powerful presence as Spinoza’s only intellectual equal. A stern rectitude emanates from Bramble’s rabbi but we later see his deep affection for his prize pupil. The final scenes in which Mortera must knowingly abrogate his intellectual integrity for the good of the community is an enviable piece of acting.”

Read the full review here.

 

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Abdiel Vivancos as Baruch de Spinoza

 

 

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CHOIR BOY continues…

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UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING:

Following the run of CHOIR BOY at GableStage, the production will be presented to thousands of Miami-Dade Public School students for one week (Feb 24-27) at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium. These educational outreach efforts are made possible through a partnership with a unique program within Miami-Dade County called the Cultural Passport Program. This program has greatly assisted us in reaching thousands of students each year. While we provide the theatre production and venue, they are able to reserve the schools and transport the students to the shows.

This production has also garnered a new partnership with Safe Schools South Florida that will be providing a representative to assist in engaging the students and teachers in a post-show discussion. This organization trains educators, empowers students, and educates parents and the public on many of the topics presented in CHOIR BOY. They were founded in 1991 to create safer schools for students and staff. It is the only South Florida organization comprised of professional educators whose sole mission is to help create safe schools for LGBTQ students or those perceived as such and for children of LGBT parents.

Statistics from Safe Schools South Florida website:

Nearly 70% of LGBTQ students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment in their schools.

Over 90% of LGBTQ students regularly hear anti-gay comments at schools; over a third from school staff.

The Cultural Passport Program is funded by The Foundation for New Education Initiatives. Please take a look at their website and consider donating to assist in the continuance of great programs within the Miami-Dade County Public School System.

Study Guides and additional resource materials can be found in the FOR TEACHERS section of this site.

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JUST ANNOUNCED:

FREE COMMUNITY PERFORMANCES AT

THE HISTORIC LYRIC THEATER

A new partnership has emerged this year, and we are greatly looking forward to bringing CHOIR BOY to the Historic Lyric Theater to perform March 6-7 at 8pm and March 8 at 2pm. The event is free of charge and open to the public. We invite you to attend. The play runs approx 90 minutes with no intermission. Seating is General Admission.

To reserve your seat in advance click here!

Call or email the Black Archives at 786-408-4610 and baf@theblackarchives.org with questions you may have.

The Historic Lyric Theater is located at 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33136.

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CHOIR BOY Reviews are in!

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Pictured L to R: Samuel Enmud (David Heard), Melvin Cox (Bobby Marrow), Din Griffin (Pharus), Datus Puryear (A.J.), Vlad Dorson (Junior Davis)

Excerpt from MIAMI HERALD by Christine Dolen:

The performances in Choir Boy, both the acting and singing, are uniformly strong.

Griffin is a charismatic Pharus, a complicated kid who refuses to dial down his inner light. Cox makes Bobby his opposite, a kid with a hair-trigger temper and a mean streak. Dorson, a sunny actor with a high speaking voice, has spot-on comic timing as Junior, and Enmund telegraphs just enough of David’s troubled spirit to make the play’s denouement unsurprising. Puryear’s A.J. is an idealized, evolved adolescent; the scene in which he trims Pharus’ hair is one of the loveliest in Choir Boy. Veteran actors Haig and Randolph bring decades of finely honed skills to the stage, and Randolph (who really is a teacher at New World) lends his powerful voice to Been in the Storm So Long near the end of the play” Read the full review.

Excerpt from FloridaTheatreOnStage.com by Bill Hirschman:

“A decidedly gay teenager leading a religious-based choir at a regimented prep school for African-American boys would seem an improbable even impossible situation. But it’s a perfect theatrical metaphor for an individualist struggling to square his uncompromising self into a society built upon conformity.”

Immeasurably elevated by thrilling music performed live in five-part harmony, the depiction of this difficult dance is the premise and theme of playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy in GableStage’s intriguing production.” Read the full review.

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Pictured L to R: Vlad Dorson (Junior Davis), Datus Puryear (A.J.), Melvin Cox (Bobby Marrow), Peter Haig (Mr. Pendleton), James Randolph (Headmaster Marrow), Din Griffin (Pharus), Samuel Enmund (David Heard)

 

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NEA Barriers to Attendance

What does it mean for GableStage?

The NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) recently released their Survey on Participation in the Arts report. One of their key focuses were the barriers for people who want to attend, but don’t. It is some great information for arts and theatre organizations. You can look over the full information here.

One of the most surprising and interesting pieces of information is the statistic for those who want to attend, but have no one to go with (close to 30% overall). It was a tidbit of information that has lingered with us so we wanted to do our own survey (sort of based on the NEA’s) to see how this relates to our audience and our area. We know we don’t have the capacity to do a super official survey and break it down the way they do, but we were interested in receiving feedback. We hope you will take a moment to respond.

To take our survey click here

Let us know your thoughts on the NEA report and perhaps what we can do to combat some of these barriers. We are the proud recipients of an NEA Artworks grant for our 2014-2015 season production of Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and we found these reports to be interesting and worth further discussion.

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Welcome to our NEW site!

Welcome to our NEW site!

We are approaching the New Year, and what better way to kick it off than launching a brand new website for ALL to enjoy! It has been a long process in the making, but we hope you find it informational, interactive, and easily navigable.

Here are some FAQ’s to help you navigate the site:

  • I want to buy tickets?
    • GREAT! You will see multiple “Buy Tickets” buttons throughout the site. The most accessible one is on the Homepage in the upper right-hand corner.
  • I want more information on upcoming shows?
    • For a full list of the current season, click on “Plays & Events” in the Homepage Menu and select “Current Season”. Also, the images sliding across the Homepage will often link to information about the shows.
  • It’s my first time at GableStage, what do I need to know?
    • Click on “Plan Your Visit” in the Menu on the Homepage. This area contains all of the general information you should need to know in order to have a pleasant trip to GableStage.
  • What is the run-time for a show and is there an intermission?
    • Very important! This information can be found by clicking on “Plays & Events” in the Homepage Menu and selecting “Current Season”. Each play will have an approximate run-time (usually 90 minutes with no intermission).
  • What time does the show start?
    • Show times can be found by clicking on “Plays & Events” in the Homepage Menu and selecting “Tickets” or “Event Calendar”.
  • Where do I find more information on subscribing?
    • Subscribers are very important members of our audience! Thank you for your interest! Click on “Plays & Events” in the Homepage Menu and select “Subscriptions”. This should give you all of the information you should need.
  • How do I donate to GableStage?
    • Oh we count the ways! Click on “Support” in the Homepage Menu and select “Ways to Give” which will explain the multiple methods of giving to GableStage OR simply select “Donate Online” which will take you to a secure checkout to enter your donation.

We hope you enjoy the improvements! If you notice any errors or if you see any areas that we could make an improvement, please feel free to comment on this post. OR if you just want to give us a pat on the back for the improvement, we will accept those comments as well!

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Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon–CRITICS RAVE!

BAD JEWS

by Joshua Harmon

November 22nd thru December 21st, 2014

GableStage’s 2014-2015 Season Opener is a huge success!  The Critics Rave!

SAVAGE, DARKLY COMIC! Smart, blazing writing! Adler and his fine cast deliver every complicated twist and turn in Harmon’s emotionally volatile play about family, judgment and the permutations of faith! The actors are so utterly and artfully invested in their roles, that it makes each character fascinating to watch! ANOTHER EXCELLENT GABLESTAGE PRODUCTION!” –Christine Dolen, Miami Herald (see full review)

MERCILESSLY FUNNY and bracingly savage! A superb cast! Harmon has crafted an alloy of intellectual ideas and excoriating emotions! For all the rollicking humor and scorching attacks, the play has a message about differing ways the upcoming generation pays homage to its past! A DON’T MISS PRODUCTION!” — Bill Hirschman, Florida Theater OnStage (see full review)

RIVETING! Fierce exchanges that address such subjects as religious versus cultural Judaism, fidelity to family, Israel/Palestine, the Holocaust, the Jewish diaspora, and the specter of hypocrisy! Shockingly abrasive! Casting is spot-on! Coego is superb — her performance is FIERCE, PERSUASIVE AND THRILLINGLY INFECTIOUS!” — John Thomason, Miami New Times (see full review)

BITINGLY FUNNY! Its themes are so universal that it could be applied to any ethnicity or religion, so audience members may likely see their own families within the characters! Presents the audience with a cornucopia of questions and food for thought! Will leave the audience talking! DON’T MISS IT!” — Mary Damiano, BroadwayWorld.com (see full review)

REALITY, TRUTH AND POIGNANCY seldom seen on a local stage! Audiences will probably recognize in the characters people they already know, no matter what their religious affiliation! A POWERFUL, THOUGHT-PROVOKING MESSAGE!” — Ron Levitt, Florida Media News (see full review)

THE LAUGHS ARE TERRIFIC! A pure delight! A brilliant performance by Natalia Coego!” — Roger Martin, Miami Art Zine (see full review)

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Terrence McNally visits GableStage

SPECIAL GUESTS AT GABLESTAGE

On October 18th, 2014–closing weekend of Mothers and Sonswe had the pleasure of welcoming playwright, Terrence McNally, and Tom Kirdahy (lead producer of the New York production & husband of Terrence McNally) to our theatre. It was a great way to end a successful run and to close out the 2013-2014 season. We look forward to seeing them again!

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And here they are with the entire cast:

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