Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@ArshtCenter) are proud to present the world premiere of WRONGFUL DEATH AND OTHER CIRCUS ACTS, a dark comedy by Carbonell and Silver Palm Award-winning local playwright, Christopher Demos-Brown. Playing January 18 – February 4, 2018 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), WRONGFUL DEATH AND OTHER CIRCUS ACTS continues Zoetic Stage’s 2017-2018 season at the Arsht Center as part of the Center’s Theater Up Close Series.

The Arsht Center’s 2017-2018 Theater Up Close Series is supported by Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen, Alan and Diane Lieberman and the Hotel Croydon Miami Beach.

Tickets to WRONGFUL DEATH AND OTHER CIRCUS ACTS are $50 & $55*; and they may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at www.arshtcenter.org.

Following a fatal plane crash, Laura Mendes, a struggling personal injury lawyer, scampers to sign up the case of a lifetime. This dark comedy, by one of South Florida’s finest playwrights, takes a wry, satirical look at the crude ways in which Capitalism places value on human life. WRONGFUL DEATH AND OTHER CIRCUS ACTS is directed by Stuart Meltzer and stars Ryan Didato, Vanessa Elise, Autumn Kioti and Laura Turnbull.

This is the fourth time Meltzer has directed a Demos-Brown world premiere. Fear Up Harsh, Captiva and Stripped have all been presented by Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center. Says Meltzer, “Christopher Demos-Brown writes fiercely smart plays that shine light on parts of our culture we rarely talk about. In WRONGFUL DEATH AND OTHER CIRCUS ACTS, the audience can expect the unexpected in an explosion of theatricality and language about the absurd lengths people will go to for money.”

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. The company will co-present two more exciting productions with the Arsht Center in the 2017-2018 season. Zoetic Stage’s 7th anniversary season will continue with the South Florida premiere of Dancing Lessons (March 8 – March 25, 2018), Mark St. Germain’s poignant and hilarious romantic comedy; and the South Florida premiere of the five-time Tony Award-winning musical, Fun Home (April 12 – May 13, 2018).


RYAN DIDATO’s (David Marvin Schwedel) regional theater credits include: Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, KY); The Goldberg Variations at Island City Stage; 12 Angry Men at Florida Repertory Theatre (Ft. Myers, FL); Red (Carbonell nominated, Best Supporting Actor); Cock and Casa Valentina at GableStage at the Biltmore; The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge and Becky’s New Car at Actors’ Playhouse; The Irish Curse (Carbonell Award, Best Ensemble) at Mosaic Theatre; Enchanted April at the Waterfront Playhouse (Key West, FL.). Didato received his B.F.A. from University of Florida/New World School of the Arts.

VANESSA ELISE (Death) holds a BFA in Theatre from New World School of the Arts. Previous stage credits include: Miami Motel Stories (Vivian); Collective Rage (Bettie 3), Waiting For Waiting For Godot (Laura); Diego and Drew Say I Do (Tia Maria); Zoetic Stage’s Clark Gable Slept Here (Estella) at the Arsht Center; and Church (Reverend Vanessa). She performed her original one-woman show, Noise: An Interruption (Amaya) in New York’s United Solo Theatre Festival on Theatre Row in November 2015. Elise was honored with a Silver Palm for Outstanding New Talent and a Carbonell nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Michael McKeever’s Clark Gable Slept Here at the Arsht Center. She is a proud teacher at Sociedad Actoral Hispanoamericana Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Miami and a board member of the South Florida Theatre League.

AUTUMN KIOTI (Darla Van Beck) is an interdisciplinary artist who has traveled from Mexico to Indonesia as an actor, aerialist, and performance artist. A South Florida native, Autumn has performed locally with GableStage, Florida Stage, Mosaic Theatre, Caldwell Theatre, and many others. In NYC, she originated the role of Cassandra in The Hive (based on Euripides’ Trojan Women), the role of Veronica in She Calls Me Firefly, and others. She frequently devises solo and collaborative performances in galleries and spaces throughout NYC and the country, including La Mama, Dixon Place, Madison Square Garden, The Wild Project, TheatreLab, The Queens Museum, Last Frontier, and more. She has also appeared in award-winning films at Lincoln Center, Art Basel, Sci-Fi London, Palm Springs Film Festival, IFC Center, and more, and has performed as a kinetic artist/aerialist for New York Film Academy, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Streb, The Muse, the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure, and others.

LAURA TURNBULL (Laura Mendes) is back at Zoetic Stage, having last appeared in the company’s presentation of Savannah Disputation at the Arsht Center. She just returned from New York where she was in a production of an important new musical We Have Apples which deals with mental health. Laura has worked at nearly every theater in South Florida including Actors’ Playhouse, Caldwell Theatre, Florida Stage, and GableStage, as well as appearing on Broadway and Off Broadway, in national tours and regional theaters, and in film and television. She is the recipient of numerous Carbonell Award nominations and has won the award several times.

ROSS KAPLAN (u/s David Marvin Schwedel / Zoetic Stage Young Artist) is a sophomore at New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL for his BFA in Theatre. He recently appeared at Broward Stage Door Theatre as Leonard/Groucho Marx in Minnie’s Boys. New World credits include Vaska Pepel in The Lower Depths.

STUART MELTZER (Director) is the Artistic Director and a founding member of Zoetic Stage. He is the proud recipient of Carbonell Awards for Best Director of a Musical for Passion and Best Director of a Play for Clark Gable Slept Here, both at Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center. He has been honored with eleven Carbonell nominations. He is pleased to return to the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht Center after directing Zoetic Stage’s highly successful productions of Topdog/Underdog, The Caretaker, Sunday in the Park with George, After, Passion, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Stripped, Betrayal, Trust, Detroit, The Great God Pan, Assassins, Fear Up Harsh, The Savannah Disputation, All New People, I Am My Own Wife, Moscow, The SantaLand Diaries, Captiva and South Beach Babylon. Previously, Stuart served as the Artistic Director of City Theatre in Miami, where he oversaw and expanded the Summer Shorts Festival. New York and South Florida credits include Romulus Linney’s Gint, Harold Pinter’s One for the Road, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Painted Alice, Everything Will be Different and Melt. He is the recipient of two Silver Palm Award for his “Outstanding Work as the Resident Director of Zoetic Stage.” He received his M.F.A. in Directing from the Actors’ Studio in 2002 and B.F.A. from New World School of the Arts in Miami, where he currently serves on the faculty.

CHRISTOPHER DEMOS-BROWN’s (Playwright) honors include the Laurents/Hatcher Award, an American Theatre Critics’ Association/Steinberg Award Citation, two Carbonell Awards, and multiple Silver Palm Awards. This is Chris’s fourth play at Zoetic Stage where he previously collaborated with Stuart Meltzer on Stripped, Fear Up Harsh, and Captiva. Chris’s newest play – a companion piece to Captiva titled Coral Gables – will receive a staged reading as part of The Maltz Jupiter Theatre’s ARC New Works Festival this April. Chris lives in Miami with his wife (and fellow Zoetic Stage cofounder), Stephanie, and their two daughters. His play, American Son, will open on Broadway this fall.

The play’s creative team features scenic design by Michael McClain; costume design by Angelina Esposito, lighting design by Tony Galaska, sound design by Matt Corey, properties by Natalie Taveras and technical direction by B.J. Duncan. Amy Rauchwerger is the production’s stage manager.