Local Stars Set for THE DONKEY SHOW at Arsht Center, Beg. 7/13


Merging local star power with nationally-recognized artists, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County announced today the creative team collaborating on this summer's blockbuster – THE DONKEY SHOW.

Twenty accomplished local performers (dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, roller skaters and more) have been cast to work with internationally-acclaimed artists, including the show's creator Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, to construct a disco extravaganza that promises to transport Miami audiences to the glittery heydays of Studio 54.

"The Arsht Center made a promise six years ago when it first opened its doors," said Scott Shiller, Executive Vice President. "We made a commitment to the community to bring internationally recognized artists to the city, to support our brilliant and innovative artistic community and to showcase local talent on our stage. With THE DONKEY SHOW, we continue to honor that pledge as we prove that world-class and community-based artistry is not mutually exclusive."

THE DONKEY SHOW's creative collaborators include:

· Nationally-acclaimed creative team, Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner, are co-creators of THE DONKEY SHOW. Diane Paulus is the Artistic Director at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). At the A.R.T., her recent work includes The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, which won this year's Tony Award for Best Musical Revival; Death and The Powers: The Robots' Opera, a new opera by Tod Machover; Best of Both Worlds, and Johnny Baseball. Her other recent theater credits include The Public Theater's Tony-Award winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London's West End, among many others. Randy Weiner, Diane Paulus' husband, is a playwright, theater producer and nightclub/restaurant owner. He also serves as the president of the Weiner Entertainment Group, a leading New York-based Production Company. He produced the Drama Desk Award-winning New York premiere of Punchdrunk's Sleep No More and is co-owner of NYC's "theater of varieties" The Box Manhattan and The Box Soho. New York Magazine calls him "the master of the club spectacle."

· Allegra Libonati is responsible for re-imagining the show for Miami audiences under the supervision of Paulus and Weiner. Libonati is the Artistic Associate at the American Repertory Theater and the resident director for the Boston production of THE DONKEY SHOW. At the A.R.T, she directed The Snow Queen, A.R.T.'s new family show, and will be directing Hansel and Gretel this winter. She has assisted Diane Paulus on Prometheus Bound (Associate Director), Death and the Powers: The Robot's Opera (Assistant Director), Best of Both Worlds (Assistant Director) and the Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway (Assistant Director). At Harvard University, she curates The Chairs Revue, an original festival of theater in Harvard Yard. A lover of street theater, she is an initiator of RAK (Random Actors of Kindness).

· Al Crawford and co-designer Zakaria M. Al-Alamiof Chameleon Lighting Group, lighting designers for THE DONKEY SHOW, are talented designers responsible for the implementation of lighting for over 100 projects annually, worldwide. With Al's fifteen years as the Lighting Director of the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Zak in his ninth year as Lighting Director of the world-class Jazz at Lincoln Center, their theatrical aesthetic has crossed over to work in all areas of art, architecture, dance, live music, corporate and special events, theater, television, and live event production. At the Arsht Center, they have designed lighting for a number of performances including the Center's latest commission of the Haitian dance company Ayikodans.

Rosie Herrera returns to her creative home at the Arsht Center as choreographer of THE DONKEY SHOW. Born in Miami and a graduate of New World School of the Arts, Rosie is hailed as one of the freshest new voices in dance theater. Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret, one of Rosie's signature works, was originally commissioned by the Adrienne Arsht Center in association with Miami Light Project as part of the 2009 Miami Made Festival at the Center. After an enthusiastic reception during the workshop showings in Miami, she was personally invited by Arsht Center artistic advisor Charles Reinhart, who served as the American Dance Festival 's (ADF) visionary director, to set the piece on ADF dancers that same summer. The Arsht Center and ADF went on to co-commission two more of her works: Pity Party, which celebrated its world premiere at the Center in 2010, and Dining Alone, which premiered at the Center in 2011. Additionally, Rosie appeared on the Carnival Studio Theater stage performing her original choreography in Zoetic Stage's hit play, South Beach Babylon. Rosie is a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano and performs with the Performers Music Institute Opera Ensemble as well as choreographs and stages operas independently throughout Miami.

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