SCENE BREAKER: Local playwrights, local grads and local star all rise

click to enlarge YOU SAY PONZI, BUT I SAY POTAHNZI: Jim Wicker as Bernie Madoff, Joanna Sycz as the Secretary and C. David Frankel as Solomon Galkin in TampaRep's Imagining Madoff. - Désirée Fantal
Désirée Fantal
YOU SAY PONZI, BUT I SAY POTAHNZI: Jim Wicker as Bernie Madoff, Joanna Sycz as the Secretary and C. David Frankel as Solomon Galkin in TampaRep's Imagining Madoff.

Here’s what’s behind the curtain this week in Tampa Bay theatre...

NO NEED TO IMAGINE THE PLAYWRIGHT: The author of Tampa Repertory Theatre’s season-four opener Imagining Madoff will attend the show tomorrow and Friday, and chat with the audience and cast afterward. A co-founder of New York City’s venerable Split Britches theater, playwright Deborah Margolin dusts OBIE and Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright awards atop her mantelpiece, among others. Exploring themes of treachery, deceit and redemption, Margolin’s drama runs through Jan. 25 in TAR 120, a theater on the USF campus.

SPEAKING OF USF: The Theatre program’s alumni are infiltrating local professional productions with a vengeance this week. Jobsite Theater’s Ybor-set staging of Shakespeare’s darkly comic Twelfth Night (opening Friday) features TheatreUSF grads Matthew Ray and Tiffany Daiber on stage management, Bailee Booser on costumes, Brian Smallheer on set design and actors Chris Holcom and Ami Sallee onstage, while Alex Amyot, Ryan Finzelber and Miriam Rochford supply (respectively) set design, lighting design and stage management for Madoff, which also stars USF Assistant Director of Theatre (and TampaRep Artistic Director) C. David Frankel. Phew.

SPEAKING OF USF THEATRE GRADS: Alumna Caitlin Eason is directing An Evening of Local One-Acts, running Jan. 18 and 19 in Jobsite’s Job-side series for adventurous theatergoers. All penned by Bay area dramatists, the short plays include one about a woman who attempts to achieve 21st Century dating without an Internet assist, one about a tech-industry heist, and a third about American girls on a European trip that takes a turn.

SPEAKING OF LOCAL PLAYWRIGHTS: Actor and playwright Natalie Symons will field questions about freeFall Theatre’s upcoming production of her play The Buffalo Kings and, perhaps, other subjects, starting from freeFall’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. Another Symons oeuvre, Lark Eden, has been produced locally and picked up for productions as far afield as Washington State, where the latest incarnation opens next week at Driftwood Players.

SPEAKING OF FREEFALL: As CL critic Mark Leib once observed in a profile, actor Steve Garland has starred everywhere on local stages, though in recent years mainly at freeFall while he dedicated more time to film work. And as he warned Leib he would, Garland will soon quit Tampa Bay to reach for the big brass ring that hangs from the Hollywood sign. Thanks to the urging of freeFall cohort and Circle in the Water Artistic Director Roxanne Fay, Garland is offering area art & theater lovers a parting gift in the shape of a performance in Jeffrey Hatcher’s play A Picasso, produced by Circle in the Water. Co-starring Fay, the drama about genius, secrets and sacrifice plays this Tuesday at the Dali Museum, and the following Monday at Studio@620.

Got a tip for SCENE BREAKER? Email Scene Breaker in care of A&E Editor Julie Garisto, [email protected].

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