February 2012, Volume 16, Number 1

Cultural Spotlight

Students Charm Theater Audiences

Play poster
Neil LaBute’s "Reasons To Be Pretty" had a successful run at Kendall Campus' Studio Theater.

The recent one-night-only staging of Alfred Reed’s musical interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Othello at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus would have charmed even the Bard himself.

Students from the music, dance and theater departments collaborated to perform Reed’s 1977 master opus Othello, A Symphonic Portrait in Five Scenes. Audience members were treated to a magical evening at the McCarthy Auditorium, as five Miami Dade College students read selected scenes from the classic play, accompanied by the MDC Wind Symphony under the direction of Brian Neal. MDC Theater Program Coordinator and Professor Deborah C. Mello and speech professor Neil Olsen collaborated in the direction of the production.

On the heels of the successful run of Neil LaBute’s Reasons To Be Pretty, directed by Sean Paul Bryan, Kendall’s Studio Theater follows with Family Stories, an adaptation by Oleg Kheyfets of a play by Biljana Srbljanovic that depicts war-numbed life in Belgrade under corrupt, nationalist dictator Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia. Through four actors portraying children playing house, this absurdist portrait serves as an unforgettable allegory for the ugly realities, both political and personal, of war and tyranny.

— HP

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