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Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..

We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..

“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..

We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..

Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..

Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..

What Will Happen When We Join Sirens in Space?

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Miami-based choreographer Pioneer Winter and visual artist Jared Sharon have invited us all to a “crazy space pirate Mean Girls and an operatic cyborg-like ship mixed with film projection, contemporary dance and extreme beauty regimens.” This new project, Sirens in Space, premiers on Thursday at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium’s versatile On.Stage Blackbox Theater. And If Winter and Sharon’s past work is any indication, Sirens in Space will be one of the more creative projects of Miami’s spring performance season.

Winter made his first mark as a choreographer on the Miami dance scene with a project titled Phallusy in 2011 at the Arsht Center’s Miami Made group show. Later that year, his first collaboration with Sharon, 42: A Stonewall Prospective, was presented to great acclaim at the Bass Museum. For these two collectively and individually, the last few years have yielded much: a dance school and performance space named Miami Dance Studio/ RIFT blackbox theater, further creative genre-bending performance work, and a series of outreach efforts including the site-specific performance initiative Grass Stains. Of particular interest and impact for the Miami community, Grass Stains is an opportunity for local artists to explore the possibilities of site-specific work with the support of significant funding and the creative guidance of a mentor.

Now, back to Winter and Sharon’s current performance collaboration, Sirens in Space. While the details of the project are still largely a guarded secret, Winter and Sharon offered some hints about their ideas and creative processes. For starters, they promise, it isn’t very cerebral. “There’s no overt social message, we wanted to have some fun.” And the underlying theme, when they are asked to state it, is dating. They describe Sirens in Space as “an outsider’s view of a dynamic of contemporary women.” The main characters aren’t exactly women, they are female aliens being guided through space by a consciousness they call “the Positronic Brain.”

The storyline is meant to operate beyond gender or sexual orientation. This distinction seems important to both artists. They often layer some form of “queering” into their work as a way to sidestep binary and hetero-normative categories, or as Sharon alternately describes it, “not having strict parameters imposed on anything.” In the case of the aliens in Sirens in Space, “that needing, searching for something is a very human trait.”

The creative dynamic between Sharon and Winter seems to be animated by a gap between their separate perspectives. Sharon was raised in an environment of traditional art, and he now describes his practice alternately as transmedia, or multi-platform storytelling. The idea is to allow the audience to receive the message in multiple forms simultaneously.

In a transmedia work, he says, there is a marriage between media, so no boundaries are drawn between different types of media that make up the work. “We’ve all exhausted each individual medium.” And, he says, “there’s no real reason to stay within those boundaries… it’s just not the way I think.”

Conversely, Winter -- coming primarily to the project as a dancer and choreographer -- finds the boundaries of his form to be productive for creativity. “I don’t think I’ve exhausted the possibilities,” he says. “Restriction births something interesting; when there are too many options, it’s not legible anymore.”

While they certainly seem to respect each other creatively, they are not necessarily coming at Sirens in Space from the same angle. There is a syncopated rhythm between them. This is no doubt a generating force, and the blend of media produces necessities that might not be present with either artist working alone. Structurally, for example, Sirens in Space has largely been determined by the length of the musical score (48 minutes long).

“That’s the complete opposite of what a choreographer does, but storyline-wise, the music is important,” says Winter. Sharon interjects, “in some ways, a visual artist is a wrench in the system.” But, he continues, “we level each other out.”

Together, Winter and Sharon are following a highly improvisational creative process whose product has yet to be revealed. Most likely, Sirens in Space will be in the works right up until show time.

Sirens in Space from Pioneer Winter and Jared Sharon, Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Miami Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box Theater,2901 W. Flagler St.,Miami. General admission $20, discounted tickets for students, senior and groups $15.

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About The writer

Cathering Hollingsworth is a dance critic and dancer


About the Writer

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