Theatre’s community impact is deep and creative
influence wide in South Florida.
CORAL GABLES (July 24, 2019) --- Area Stage Company, an award-winning, non-profit organization will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in October, and has been widely recognized as one of South Florida’s most influential theatre companies. Since its establishment in 1989, Area Stage has pioneered an approach to theatre like no other as they have presented a mix of cutting edge, award winning, contemporary and classical pieces. From Pulitzer Prize winning plays to original works and musicals, Area Stage has showcased productions that have left their mark on the community.
Founders John and Maria Rodaz have dedicated 30 years to the company’s growth. The organization was launched and spent its first decade in a 50-seat theatre on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. In 2008, Area Stage moved to the Riviera Theatre in Coral Gables. It soon established a professional-level youth Conservatory Program while maintaining a full season of mainstage productions. Maria and John were inspired in 2013 to launch the Inclusion Theatre Project to serve developmentally and intellectually disabled students. Today the theatre entertains about 10,000 patrons a year and serves 800 students, including 170 in the Inclusion Theatre Project.
ASC’s mission is to be an instrument of cultural growth in South Florida by producing world-class theatre; to nurture the next generation of theatre artists through its professional conservatory and youth education programs; to make arts education accessible to everyone, including populations with disabilities; and to provide a forum for creative community engagement, while producing quality entertainment.
In a landscape where other organizations merely bring entertainment, ASC engages the community, creates a conversation around social and political issues, and creates a bridge for able and disabled individuals to share their passion for participating in the arts.
Area Stage Company’s activities are structured in three programs.
ASC’s Mainstage, which opens “Matilda the Musical” on September 13th, has been recognized with over 35 Carbonell Award nominations. It has presented a mix of contemporary plays and original new works, quickly “changing the perception and standards of what South Florida's theatres can and should be,” according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which described the organization as “one of the most influential theatres in the region.”
Miami New Times named ASC the “Best Theatre Company” in its 2019 Reader’s Choice Poll, the fourth such recognition in the annual competition. And it has been featured in reports on PBS and CNN / CNN International, Nightline with Ted Koppel, Telemundo and Univision and dozens of other publications.
ASC’s Conservatory Program offers aspiring actors, musicians, designers and technical talents the opportunity to learn and perform in a professional theatrical environment. The Conservatory curriculum has been enhanced by Broadway professional guest artists, a unique aspect to the program that has come to better prepare the students at Area Stage.
ASC’s Inclusion Theatre Project (ITP) invites individuals with disabilities to do what they love. With the support of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), ASC has paired advanced Conservatory students with individuals with developmental disabilities to learn and perform on stage together. The program partners with local schools, those of which serve students with special needs, and instills them with the pride, confidence, and emotional development that the arts foster. Beginning with only 20 students in 2013, the ITP program now serves almost 170 students.
“Area Stage Company would not be where it is today without the help of the South Florida community,” said Maria Rodaz, founder of Area Stage Company. “Without continuous community contributions and support for our organization, we would not be able to provide our performers with the level of expertise that we have here at Area Stage.”
Area Stage Company will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary in an evening event featuring hors d’ oeuvres, cocktails, live performances, a silent auction, and selections from the upcoming production “Matilda the Musical.” It takes place Saturday October 5th, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. at Area Stage Company, 1560 South Dixie Highway, Suite 103, Coral Gables, FL 33146.
ABOUT AREA STAGE COMPANY (ASC)
Area Stage Company (ASC) is an award-winning non-profit professional theatre company that for three decades has staged provocative, world-class theatre and musicals. ASC has produced plays, musicals, and original works, becoming one of South Florida’s most influential theatre companies. In addition to housing a professional theatre company, ASC has a professional-level conservatory with classes, workshops, and performance opportunities for young, aspiring performers and the Inclusion Theatre Project (ITP), a theatre program for people with special needs.