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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Tenth Anniversary Season of Theatre Up Close

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@ArshtCenter) is proud to announce its lineup for the 10th anniversary season of THEATER UP CLOSE created in collaboration with Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and City Theatre (@CityTheatreFL). The Arsht Center’s Theater Up Close series returns with five extraordinary productions, including one world premiere and two South Florida premieres.

In just a decade, THEATER UP CLOSE has become a showcase for Miami actors and playwrights as well as an opportunity for the community to enjoy critically-acclaimed new work from around the country. The series has long reflected South Florida’s vibrant theater community by its ongoing collaborations with local theater companies Zoetic Stage and City Theatre, earning 42 Carbonell Awards and 112 nominations. The Center is proud to have presented a total of 52 productions with an almost entirely local cast and crew as part of the Theater Up Close series. The series has included 13 plays by local playwrights, 12 world premiere productions and 17 South Florida premiere productions since its inception.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to showcase some of the incredible theater South Florida has to offer with the tenth anniversary of our award-winning THEATER UP CLOSE series,” said Liz Wallace, vice president of programming at the Arsht Center. “We are proud to have preserved most of the originally-scheduled THEATER UP CLOSE season shows, and we are so grateful to our artistic partners at Zoetic Stage and City Theatre for being able to safely bring back the irreplaceable experience of live theater for audiences to relish once again.”

The THEATER UP CLOSE series gratefully acknowledges the founding support of Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen.


Five-show subscription packages are available now starting at the early bird rate of $169* until June 11. Packages after June 11 start at $194. Subscriptions can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at Tickets for individual performances will be announced at a later date.

Arsht Center Commitment to Health and Safety

Our focus continues to be on keeping our guests, artists and staff safe. We have implemented a series of new measures for everyone’s safety and peace of mind. All guests will be required to maintain their distance, wear a face covering and participate in a brief health screening. For more details about our new safety measures, visit HERE.


Programming for the 2021-2022 THEATER UP CLOSE SERIES includes the following:


 Arsht Center
Photo Courtesy of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center present

FRANKENSTEIN – South Florida Premiere!

By Nick Dear

Directed by Stuart Meltzer

October 14 – 31, 2021

Includes nudity and violence

No intermission


One of the great horror stories of all time, Mary Shelly’s classic tale of gods and monsters  still fascinates two hundred years after its 1818 publication! First presented at the National Theatre in London, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Nick Dear’s adaptation is highly theatrical and surprisingly relevant. Employing striking images and beautifully poetic language, the play explores the very nature of good and evil, brought to life with thrilling and heartbreaking results.

From the Creature’s first moments on stage, as he writhes naked out of an organic pod, the audience is swept into a breathtaking whirlwind of emotional storytelling through imagery and movement.

With daring and stylized staging, comes a humane, insightful retelling of the original story, focusing on the plight of the creature and his desperate journey to fit into a world that doesn’t want him. A theatrical event like none other.


Arsht Center
Photo Courtesy of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

City Theatre and Adrienne Arsht Center present


By Tom Mula

Directed by Margaret M. Ledford

December 2 – 19, 2021

’Tis the season to celebrate with a “spirited” holiday classic! Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is, of course, spun off from Charles Dickens’ beloved ghostly tale. But in this marvelous theatrical retelling, the redemption story shifts from mean, old Ebenezer Scrooge to his former business partner, the long-dead, hilariously bitter, chains-rattling ghost, Jacob Marley.

Jacob Marley’s miserable afterlife has been stretching on forever when, on Christmas Eve, he earns a chance to change his fate — if he can change the unrepentant Ebenezer Scrooge! Like the desperate apparition he is, Marley drags a terrified Scrooge from his bed into his worst nightmare as the two old frenemies journey into the past, present and future.

Tom Mula adapted his own novella based on the familiar story to create his now popular play. Audiences will delight in the surprising twists and turns of the storytelling, and the inspired tour de force of one actor magically transforming into 18 roles. In a production that is intimate and spectacular, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is spooky fun and a festive treat that makes for “a splendid and invigorating evening” (The Chicago Tribune).


Arsht Center
Photo Courtesy of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center present


By Hannah Benitez

Directed by Stuart Meltzer

January 13 – 30, 2022

Includes nudity

No intermission


Accompanied by his millennial children, a Cuban man returns to the country from which he escaped 50 years ago on a quest to recover a precious family heirloom. Together, the family embarks on a journey of closure, truth, and cultural connection.

Through a series of misadventures with funny and fascinating locals, Carlos, Michi and Danny find themselves in a place frozen in time, but surprisingly familiar. “GringoLandia” promises to be a uniquely theatrical experience with live music and video. A mixed-media-event that will transport audiences to the beautiful, yet heartbreaking, island that is so close, and so far away.

Hannah Benitez is a fresh and vital voice emerging in the world of theater. Benitez was recently listed as one of the playwrights to watch from American Theatre Magazine.

This fascinating new play is by this gifted young Latina playwright explores the collision of two worlds, and the importance of accepting our past in order to move into the future. Once again, Zoetic Stage takes great pride in finding and presenting exciting new work by local writers.


 Arsht Center
Photo Courtesy of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Adrienne Arsht Center and Zoetic Stage present


Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Directed by Stuart Meltzer

March 17 – April 10, 2022

One 12-minute intermission


This beloved Sondheim musical explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress Desirée Armfeldt, and the men who desire her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. When the actress performs in Fredrik’s town, the estranged lovers’ passion rekindles, affecting everyone around them. As fresh today as when it first appeared on stage, this musical masterpiece explores class, fidelity and the human condition with humor, warmth and elegance.

Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it first appeared on Broadway in 1973, starring Glynis Johns and Len Cariou. It went on to win 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical, and has since played in theaters around the world.

Hailed by The New York Times as “Sophisticated and Enchanting,” this now classic includes some of Sondheim’s most lush and beautiful music including “The Miller’s Son,” “A Weekend in the Country” and the chart-topping “Send in the Clowns.”

Zoetic Stage continues its relationship with the work of Stephen Sondheim after mounting four critically acclaimed productions of his work. “Assassins,” “Passion,” “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Sweeney Todd” played to sold out audiences and collectively garnered 29 Carbonell Award nominations, winning a total of 7 awards, including Best Musical for “Sunday in the Park with George” and “Assassins.”


Arsht Center
Photo Courtesy of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Zoetic Stage and Adrienne Arsht Center present

OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD – South Florida Premiere!

By Alexis Scheer

Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo

May 5 – 22, 2022

Includes violence

New York Times Critic’s Pick by South Florida’s own Alexis Scheer. In this fierce, pitch-black comedy, four teenage girls gather in a Miami tree house to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or just each other? Whiplashing back and forth between laugh out loud humor and stop-you-in-your-tracks drama, this wicked new play explores the darkest corners of the human heart.

Last season, “Our Dear Dead Drug Lord” enjoyed a highly successful, extended run Off-Broadway, a co-production of Second Stage and WP Theater. Theatre Scene called the play “the work of a born playwright and a unique new voice.” Scheer is a Miami native and New World School of the Arts alum. She holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory and MFA in Playwriting from Boston University.

Intimate in nature, yet universal in its ability to explore the need to connect, the play is an unflinching and powerful reminder of what it means to be human. As it races to its startling conclusion, audiences will be left catching their breath. A rollercoaster ride through the dark and dangerous mind of the modern American teenage girl by gifted Miami playwright.


*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit for up-to-date information.
**Postponed from the 2019-20 Theater Up Close season.


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, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.

About Us

Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.

 Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.

Each year, we serve more than 50,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.

The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit

About Zoetic Stage

Zoetic Stage was founded in 2010 to create fresh, bold interpretations of contemporary plays and musicals, and is dedicated to enhancing South Florida’s national artistic profile by producing regional premieres and developing new works to become part of the American stage repertoire.

In 2020, Zoetic Stage was named the Best Theater Company by the Miami New Times. The theater has been nominated for an impressive 104 Carbonell Awards (including 15 for Best Production of the Year), and won 39 of the coveted awards including 6 awards for Best New Work and 5 awards for Best Production of a Play or Musical. Zoetic Stage productions have received over thirty Silver Palm Awards for Outstanding Achievement.

Zoetic Stage is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network and a member of the South Florida Theater League.

Visit for more information.

About City Theatre

City Theatre is an award-winning professional theater company founded in Miami, FL in 1996, that is dedicated to the development and production of new works and programming that entertains, informs and resonates with its diverse audiences. It is distinguished for being the only theatre in the nation producing ten minute plays and musicals year round and for all ages, including its signature SUMMER SHORTS FESTIVAL which will enjoy its 25th anniversary in 2021 at its Main Stage Artistic Home, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Carnival Studio Theater. It also produces full-length plays as part of the Arsht’s Theatre Up Close Series, including JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL by Tom Mula in 2021 and Bekah Brunstetter’s THE CAKE in 2019.

The company includes work in its various programming by well-known and exciting new writers culled from its City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contests, and through commissions. City Theatre is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), and participated in the Rolling World Premiere production of Robert Schenkkan’s BUILDING THE WALL at the Arsht in 2018. Now among the oldest theatres in South Florida, City Theatre was honored by the Carbonell Committee in 2016 with the prestigious Bill Von Maurer Award, which recognizes significant contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for the company’s dedication to the short form play and fostering new play development. For more information visit