Arsht Center Presents City Theatre's SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL

Arsht Center Presents City Theatre's SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL 






"The audience leaves Shorts, as it always does, laughing – which is just one reason why this good-time festival has endured."

– Christine Dolen, The Miami Herald

June 1 – 17, 2012

Tickets $35

Carnival Studio Theater
in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County presents City Theatre's 17th annual SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL, South Florida's fast and furiously fun program of the nation's hottest short plays, staged in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House) from June 1-17, 2012. Under the new direction of Producing Artistic Director John Manzelli, the sizzling 17th season of the company's acclaimed SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL features fifteen performances of ten original short plays – some raucous, others innovative and poignant, but with the ultimate goal to make audiences laugh.

Tickets are $35, and go on sale to the general public April 23, 2012. Tickets may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at

"Summers at the Arsht Center would not be complete without City Theatre's Summer Shorts Festival," said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. "It is an honor to launch the festival's seventeenth season and an even greater honor to host its sixth season in residency at our Carnival Studio Theater. We're eager to experience these acclaimed short works and look forward to sharing many laughs with the audience."

The Carbonell Award-winning festival has become a nationally recognized event and a must-see/must-be-seen-there social outing for South Florida audiences. "I don't believe the theatre should only be for theatre people. We're working with some of the best comedy writers from theater and television to put together a fun night that will appeal to anyone," says John Manzelli, co-director of this year's Summer Shorts Festival.

2012's Summer Shorts Festival play line-up will be announced in May.

The Arsht Center welcomes an outstanding cast of seasoned, award-winning South Florida directors and actors whose credits range from local Miami theater and off-Broadway shows to Broadway stages, national television and film:


John Manzelli is proud to be at the helm of City Theatre after serving as City's Artistic Director last season, where he directed the extremely successful Dirty Little Secrets, starring Jai Rodriguez. Manzelli brings an accomplished reputation to City as both a performer and director. Prior to joining City, John served as Associate Artistic Director of the award-winning Naked Stage Company (which he co-founded). Under his leadership, Naked Stage was awarded a Silver Palm Award for Best Emerging Theatre Co. and a Visionary Award for the creation of the groundbreaking 24 Hour Theatre Project. Some of John's more recent directing credits include No Exit (Naked Stage), The Tempest (New Theatre), and Macon City (Naked Stage), for which he was awarded the Carbonell Award for "Best Lighting Design." As an actor, John currently portrays the recurring role of Sol Drucker on STARZ's original series "Magic City."

Mark Swaner began his career in South Florida performing at GableStage, Actors' Playhouse and the Florida Playwright Theater. It was at FPT that Mark, just 18 years old at the time, directed the critically acclaimed production of Julian Barry's Lenny, starring Todd Allen Durkin. From there, Mark moved to Chicago to train at the world-famous Second City comedy theater. There he was hired into the Second City National Touring Company, starred in Romeo & Juliet: The Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and performed on the Second City Mainstage in the Jeff award-winning review Between Barak and a Hard Place.

Mark now resides in Hollywood where he works as a writer, actor and comedian. He created the long running improv show 3 Scene Circus at iO West and starred in his own one-man-show I Miss Racism at Second City Los Angeles. Local audiences may have seen Swaner's writing in the Naked Stage's 24-Hour Theatre Project or 2/3rds of his musical play Bienvenidos Miami, the opener of last year's Summer Shorts. Mark also works as a writer for NBC Universal and is currently shopping his comedy pilot "Crews" about life on a cruise ship.

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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.

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