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Summer Shorts 2013

The nationally acclaimed City Theater’s Annual Summer Shorts Festival has returned to Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater for their 18th season and I was so excited to see it. I must have looked ridiculous as I was literally laughing till my glasses fell off, but I wasn’t alone. People were holding their sides roaring with laughter while others just politely covered their mouths. All I can say is that the performances were refreshing, provocative, and down-right hilarious. The plays were definitely not for a family night out, but for a sophisticated and more mature audience, it was perfect. This was Miami live theatre at its best!

Summer Shorts consisted of ten plays, including several world premieres, performed by Irene Adjan, Ken Clement, Todd Allen Durkin, Renata Eastlick, Rayner Garranchan, and Vera Varlamov. Imagine a stage with four movable sets and six actors performing ten plays back to back with only a few moments to catch one’s breath and change a few props. These actors, several of them Carbonell award recipients, not only performed with the utmost concentration, but could change dialects, costumes, scripts, and emotions effortlessly. The unpredictable plays were at times thought-provoking, but the comedic shorts were delightfully funny and in good taste. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves as the laughter continued to increase throughout the evening.

Even though the main theme of the night was comedy, some skits touched serious topics such as marital issues, mother-daughter relationships, dependency on technology, and finding one’s true self. This dynamic cast successfully shed light on these issues while still being entertaining, amusing, and sincere.

Rather than describing every skit in complete detail, I decided to write about the skit that stood out the most, “The Favor.” This play, written by Leslie Ayvazian, directed by John Manzelli and performed by Irene Adjan and Todd Allen Durkin, was about a man who is confronted with a dilemma as his wife pleads with him to give her dying mother a goodbye kiss. The husband is confused, disgusted, and frazzled, but at the end, gives in and complies with his wife’s wish. Unlike the other skits, this play didn’t need jokes or accents, but the real life emotions and awkward scenario made the performance realistic as well as entertaining.

I was extremely impressed that these six actors, with the support of City Theatre National Short Play Competition playwrights, could perform humorous skits about two dolphins on a pedestrian train or pretend to be vampires and killer moths and then transition smoothly to plays about marital issues and life without losing their focus or character. I wasn’t the least surprised that City Theatre’s Summer Shorts has received national recognition for the group’s professional comedy and drama. I would highly recommend anyone who enjoys late night comedy or even “SNL” to catch the “must-see” summer performance of City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival before they leave town.

About Rebekkah Mar

A graduate from Westminster Christian School located in Dade County. Was the student writer for WCS online newsletter, “The Beat,” and assistant editor of the school’s yearbook, “The Beacon". Founder, editor-in-chief, and editorial writer for the newspaper, “The Warrior”. She has done internships at 90.9 Life FM Radio and Media Relations Group (MRG). Writes for St. Thomas Lutheran Church’s newsletter under the column, “Youth Perspective”. This year, she was the the recipient of The Burger King Scholarship, Westminster's Outstanding Senior Award, Westminster's Warrior Award for Leadership, and the De la Rua Family Endowment for Courage. She is also the nominee of the Emma Bowen Journalism Work study. Rebekkah is now studying Telecommunications within the College of Journalism at the University of Florida and is a staff member of UF's "Sparks Magazine."