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The Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts
Partners With University Of Miami
To Create A Pre-Professional Learning Experience
For Aspiring Theater Professionals
The Bridge Program

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County proudly announces an innovative, new artistic partnership with the University of Miami's Department of Theatre Arts. The Bridge Program will provide outstanding young acting and theater production majors at the University an opportunity to work with seasoned professionals in creating a professional production of Federico García Lorca's 20th century masterpiece The House of Bernarda Alba. "This creative collaboration with one of the premier performing arts centers in the southern United States, which also happens to be in our own backyard, offers students a paid, real-world working experience on a world-class stage and ensures that they will have a competitive edge upon graduation," said Henry Fonte, Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Miami and Producing Artistic Director of its Jerry Herman Ring Theatre.

The House of Bernarda Alba will have a three-week run at the Carnival Studio Theater from October 13-30, 2011, as part of the Adrienne Arsht Center's Theater Up Close 2011-2012 season in the Carnival Studio Theater as well as the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre 2011-2012 Season. The play is one of Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca's most influential works. A devastatingly powerful story of a domineering woman obsessed with maintaining the honor of her family's name against the forces of brutal small-town society, the play explores Bernarda's iron-fisted oppression of her five daughters, transforming their rural home into a powder keg of tension, jealousy and fear.

While the key adult roles of Bernarda Alba and La Poncia will be performed by professional actors working and living in South Florida, the production will also feature UM's talented student actors in the roles of Alba's daughters. Also, students majoring in technical theatre and design will work side-by-side with the Adrienne Arsht Center's production team—helping to create professional sets, costumes and lighting design; assisting stage managers and other key production positions. With students at their side in supporting roles, the Adrienne Arsht Center team will provide the physical production of the The House of Bernarda Alba, with key UM faculty rounding out the creative and design team. Henry Fonte, a 30-year veteran actor, director, playwright and producer, will direct the play.

Fonte has directed more than 70 Actors' Equity Association productions across the country, from intimate venues Off Broadway (The Cherry Lane) to 5,000-seat amphitheatres (Indianapolis Starlight, Best Director Award). A graduate of Miami High School and University of Florida, Fonte moved to D.C. upon completing his education, cutting his teeth in regional theatres such as Arena Stage and The Folger Company before moving to New York, which was home base for his peripatetic career until he joined the University of Miami last year.

This partnership is a student-focused addition to the Arsht Center's robust roster of collaborations that support and expand the performance opportunities for stellar local artists and arts organizations. Recent and ongoing partnerships include co-presentations with Mad Cat Theatre, M Ensemble, and Brazz Dance Theater; the premiere engagement of Miami's newest artistic collaborative, Zoetic Stage; and ongoing partnerships with City Theatre and Teatro Avante. "This partnership is at the core of the Adrienne Arsht Center's mission to enlighten, educate and entertain. Working in tandem with the University of Miami, the Center has an opportunity to play an impactful role in the future of the arts by helping to develop the next generation of theater professionals right here in Miami," said Scott Shiller, Executive Vice President of the Adrienne Arsht Center.

About University of Miami Department of Theatre Art
At the University of Miami a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theater offers more depth in the selected area of study. This degree embraces its intention, which is professional preparation. While it is difficult to teach the artistic impulse or talent, it is important to provide students with the means to access their native talent through craft. A graduate of our BFA programs should expect to have been offered the skills that will make her/him competitive in the profession as it exists today. A Bachelor of Arts Theater major receives experience in all the elements of the theater: acting, directing, technical design and production, dramatic structures, and the role of the audience as critic and consumer. These areas are enriched with study of dramatic literature, history, and a sense of the great movements in human thought and action. Additionally, the BA student experiences the breadth of the traditional Liberal Arts study. This undergraduate degree in theater serves the student as a broad base for any career choice and for advanced graduate study.

About the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
Now celebrating its Fifth Anniversary Season, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world's leading performing arts organizations and venues. Made possible by Miami-Dade County's largest ever public/private-sector partnership, the Center is home to the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy. In addition, numerous South Florida arts organizations perform in its theaters regularly. Since opening in 2006, the Center has emerged as a leader in offering and presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida's diversity, as a catalyst for development in Miami, and as a host of impactful community outreach and education programs.

Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the venue is comprised of the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the black box Carnival Studio Theater, a restored Carnival Tower, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Studio, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Education Center and the outdoor Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts. The Carnival Tower, an architectural icon and one of Miami's oldest Art Deco buildings, houses the street-level Bombay Sapphire Lounge. Events impresario and restaurateur Barton G. Weiss brought his signature style to the Center in 2009 with Prelude By Barton G, a full-service upscale restaurant.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from local, state and national foundations, as well as private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through corporate and individual giving, Visionary Society membership and the Encore Circle major gifts programs For more information, or to purchase tickets for the many diverse offering of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, you may contact them at 305-949-6722, or visit them online at

See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere

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