The Theatre League’s Summer Theatre Fest has become an integral part of South Florida’s cultural landscape, and this year, South Florida audiences will once again have the opportunity to see theatre for free, check out new plays in development by South Florida playwrights, and tell the world what the arts – and theatre – mean to them.  The success of last summer’s Come Under Our Umbrella program and play reading series indicated to the League that theatre patrons are ready and willing to try new theatrical experiences, and even cross county lines to do it.

The theme governing this year’s Summer Theatre Fest activities is Step Onto Our Stage.  A unique ‘step and repeat’ has been created especially for the program, featuring theatrical curtains in front of a wall imprinted with the League’s logo.  Patrons will be invited to Step Onto Our Stage to be photographed or videoed ‘on stage’ as they are interviewed about their theatrical experiences, and the significance of the arts in their lives.  The step and repeat, which made its ‘debut’ at the South Florida Theatre League sponsored Carbonell Awards ‘after party’, will travel to participating theatres throughout the summer.

Summer Theatre Fest:  Each Monday from June 1 to August 31, a South Florida Theatre League member theatre will host a reading of a new play by a local playwright. Playwrights range from established local favorites, including Carbonell Award-winners and nominees, to emerging talents, with plays vastly ranging in subject matter and style.

Step Onto Our Stage – Reading Schedule:

Each Monday from June 1 to August 31, a South Florida Theatre League member theatre will host a reading of a new play by a local playwright. Playwrights range from established local favorites, including Carbonell Award-winners and nominees, to emerging talents, with plays vastly ranging in subject matter and style.

All Readings Take Place on a Monday and are Free and Open to the Public

June 1st
Stages of the Sun: Readings of New Plays
by South Florida Theatre League Playwrights
at Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre at 7:30 PM

Come see readings of new plays by Theatre League Playwrights! The program includes Samantha Liguori’s Drive Safely, Desiree Mora’s I Bet You Think Gotham Is About You, Marjorie O’Neill-Butler’s Losing Trust, Frank Quintana’s The Hole in the Wall, Michael Rutenberg’s Payback, and Marla Schwartz’s Strange But True.

June 8th
A Girl’s Guide to Saving the Universe
By Andie Arthur
at Lost Girls Theatre at the Deering Estate at 8:00 PM

Penny Applebaum is an average college student, whose boyfriend, Will happens to be the chosen one, the one destined to save Birenllor (a small, magical country that exists underneath a Chicago el station) from the Protectorate, a dark tyrant. With the help of a talking lantern, puppet squirrels, and a college professor that moonlights as a wizard, Penny takes her own hero’s journey and finds out that Will perhaps isn’t as valiant as he has been prophesized to be.

June 15th
Fortuna’s Ire
by Guillermo Ramon
at Storycrafter Studio at the Luna Star Café at 8:00 PM

Kim, suffering from amnesia, finds herself in a therapist’s office. The therapist seems to be completely mad, but weirdly helps Kim find out a secret she hasn’t been able to face. A psychological thriller.

June 22nd
Text M for Murder
By Carol White
Presented by Arts Garage at Bailey Contemporary Arts at 7:30 PM

Set in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, a modern day “Othello” pits Charles and Jerry Tobias against each other in a tale of business, love, jealousy, betrayal and revenge. A simple plot goes awry when Nicole has a fatal accident. Is Jerry lying about everything? Are Nicole and Peter innocent? What won’t Marni reveal, and how does Charles tie it all up?

June 29th
Women Who Hate Their Jobs
By Leah Roth Barsanti
at Evening Star Productions at 8:00 PM

“Women Who Hate Their Jobs” is nine-scene, one-act by Leah Roth Barsanti centering on the idea of modern women hating their jobs. The play’s various characters (all portrayed by three actors) explore themes of money, gender, race, parenthood, drug use, and ambition, all as they relate to women in today’s American workforce. The  ultimate vision for a production of this play is to have the tenth scene as an essay from a high-school girl on the theme of “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up.” If and when the play is fully produced, Barsanti would like to award the student that wrote this 10th scemce with a scholarship made up of half the proceeds from the show, with the goal of making sure that at least one woman doesn’t have to grow up to hate her job.

July 6th
Life and Death
By Bob Bowersox
TheatreXP  at Red Barn Theatre at 7:00 PM

Death, a curmudgeonly complainer, has had it. He hates what he does, feels he gets no respect, and has developed a serious sense of worthlessness. Life, on the other hand — a voluptuous earth-mother type — is having an explosive, creative ball and just doesn’t see what Death’s problem is. Then Death informs Life that he quits. Q-U-I-T-S, quits. And the real problems begin, not the least of which arise when Death decides he wants to do what Life does and begins trying his hand at creating things…with disastrous results. It takes a mortal man — now at least 187 years old because nothing seems to die anymore — to re-instill a sense of value in Death before the metaphysical ship of being rights itself.

July 6th
Stages of the Sun: Student Edition
Readings of Short Plays by Local Student Playwrights
at Area Stage

Readings of Short Plays by local student playwrights.

July 13
Thirteen is Murder
By Barbara Fox and Various Playwrights
Mystery on the Menu at Empire Stage at 7:00 PM

A Series of Short Plays Based on the Number Thirteen.

July 20
Shift of Fortune
By Thomas McLaughlin
At the Delray Beach Playhouse at 7:30 PM

Shift of Fortune is a story about a well to do, attractive 48 year old woman that lost her husband two years ago.  Her name is Carol.  For the past two years Carol can’t seem to get over Jack, her loving husband.  Carol has no children and is very close to her friends Marie and Kinzie.  Marie and Kinzie are becoming more and more frustrated with trying to get Carol to be open to a serious relationship again.

Marie and Kinzie enjoy each other’s risqué hummer.  Carol enjoys it too but knows she can’t compete.  Carol says she has turned over a new leaf and tries to prove it by promising to visit Jack’s grave site only once a week instead of the usual twice a week.  Marie doesn’t buy Carol’s commitment to change and devises a plan to test her.  Marie and Kinzie ask Carol if they can take off their pillow boxing gloves and be more direct with her.  Carol says yes and the women move to phase two of their plan.

The plot moves, the twists come and a shift or two of fortunes occurs.  With the addition of some more risqué jokes we come to the end where things seem to turn out OK.

July 20
Summer Flights
By Local Playwrights
Pigs Do Fly at Empire Stage at 7:30 PM

Seven short humorous plays chosen to amuse audiences of all ages and stages!

July 27
Wrongful Death
By Christopher Demos-Brown
At Maltz Jupiter Theatre at 7:00 PM

July 27
The Prey
By Gina Montet
Mangrove Creative Collective at The Little Haiti Cultural Center, Reception at 7:00 PM, Reading at 7:30 PM (Sharp)

The Prey, an original play by Miami playwright Gina Montet, is a tale of murder in the heart of the Everglades.  Set deep within the wild Florida frontier and Inspired by actual events, The Prey is a chilling interpretation of one of Florida’s most notorious killings.

August 3
Stung and Wounded
by Patricia Wakely Wolf
at Main Street Playhouse at 8:00 PM

Jordan Reams, on the fast track to partnership at a global law firm, has his professional life challenged when his cousin, Robbie Meeks, a first-year associate at the same firm, supersedes him on that fast track after a freak car accident. Clive McFadden, managing partner of the firm, is Jordan’s mentor; Tom Crawlston, the firm’s biggest rainmaker, is Robbie’s tormentor. Clive and Tom dangle partnerships to Jordan, Robbie and the other young attorneys like a dog treat. They want the associates to suffer like they did when they crawled up the ladder so they tell them all to beg or leave. Jordan “gets” it; Robbie doesn’t want to “get” it. The cousins have their worlds swapped after Robbie’s car accident. Robbie comes to understand the world of a law firm and appears to see it through Tom’s cutthroat eyes. Jordan is thrown and a bit worried by what is suddenly coming out of Robbie’s mouth, but still supports him. Ali Williams, a wannabe actress who loathes her day job but loves the money it brings in, calls out all the attorneys and their actions as she sees them. Her skill set, sophistication and fun personality keeps her employed. Ali and Jordan have always been in love and they finally admit it but a permanent relationship isn’t in the cards. Words of truth are spoken and denied by everyone. Jordan and Robbie must each “man up” in their own way, but to continue their love as cousins is up for monetary grab.

August 3rd
Grace, Sponsored by Monteverde
by Vanessa Garcia
at Thinking Cap Theatre at the Vanguard

Catherine has just divorced Sebastian, but her spirits are fiercer than ever. She decides to travel throughout the United States with her new lover and colleague, Lewis. They are a kind of 21st century Lewis and Clark (Lewis and Catherine) trying to uncover stories in each of the fifty states. Along the way, they pick up a wayward nun named Rosalie, who has just gone through deep loss. They meet a teenaged girl named Blake, and rummage through the layers of migration that make up America – all sponsored by a rum named Monteverde.

August 10
Summer Shorts Tryout Plays
City Theatre at Empire Stage at 7:00 PM

Come join City Theatre’s reading of 6 new short plays. After each reading, the play will be discussed, your feedback given and maybe one of these new plays will have earned its way into the next production of Summer Shorts or Shorts Gone Wild. Come toast the new work with a free wine reception.

August 17
Dead by Night
By Juan C. Sanchez
at GableStage at 7:30 PM

A female crime novelist is lured into a warehouse under false pretenses. There, she finds two young, adoring fans ready to battle for her love and attention. Dead By Night is inspired by the intriguingly complex life and work of crime novelist Patricia Highsmith, who wrote Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and others.

The Broward Center’s Reading on August 17th has been cancelled.

August 24
Party Girls
by Jessica Farr
Mad Cat Theatre Company at the Sandbox at 7:00 PM

“We’re Party Girls. We just get paid to be there.” Natalie is finishing her first e-book. In need of a break, she visits her best friend from childhood living a chic new life in New York City as a model. But things are not as they seem and her friend is nothing like what she remembers. As things escalate quickly from one wild, super-exclusive party to the next, her friend goes missing in The Hamptons. Along with a bouncer with a secret, some models in the know and a chain of spooky anonymous emails – Natalie goes down a dark path to find what she’s been looking for all along- the perfect inspiration for her new book.

August 31
The Dana Plays: Raising Money for the Humane Society
By Local Playwrights
At the Vanguard at 8:00 PM
$15, Buy Tickets Here

Dana Castellano was a treasured supporter of the South Florida Theatre Community who passed away from cancer in November 2014. Last year, during Summer Theatre Fest, Naked Stage Artistic Producer Antonio Amadeo coordinated the first Dana Plays – an evening of short plays about hope.  The event raised over $2,000. This year’s proceeds will be donated to one of Dana’s favorite charities, the Humane Society.

Free Night of Theater

Free Night of Theater is an audience development program that has proved to be immensely popular since the League first introduced it in 2008. Free Night offers patrons an excellent opportunity to visit a venue they’ve never been to before, or sample a type of theatre they might not otherwise ever consider. Developed by the Theatre Communications Group (the national organization for American Theatre) about a decade ago to increase audiences, subsequent studies found that approximately 42% of patrons who attend a Free Night of Theatre return to that theatre and purchase tickets.  So far, participating theatres include Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Palm Beach Dramaworks, and Evening Star Productions, however several more theatres are expected to participate.

Patrons can sign up for tickets at http://summerfestfreenight.southfloridatheatre.com/ starting on June 10 for performances during the month of July. The window to enter the lottery will close on June 24, and patrons will find out if they have won tickets on June 29.

The South Florida Theatre League is “an alliance of theatrical organizations and professionals dedicated to nurturing, promoting, and advocating for the growth and prestige of the South Florida theatre industry”.  To date, the League is the umbrella organization for close to 80 theatres between Key West and Jupiter.