Rising Action Theatre


PRESS RELEASE December 2011

Rising Action Falls; Island City Stage Planned To Take Its Place
Posted on December 23, 2011 by Bill Hirschman
Rising Action Theatre, one of South Florida’s few theaters devoted primarily to gay-themed plays, is closing mid-season; but some staffers plan to replace it next fall with a new company, Island City Stage, said Andy Rogow, artistic director for both ventures.

Island City (nee Rising Action) and Naked Stage Resurface, Arts Garage Mounts Musical
Posted on June 8, 2012 by Bill Hirschman
After an unnerving series of losses, several low-key announcements provide some encouraging news this week for the South Florida theater scene: Rising Action Theatre has succeeded in resurrecting itself as Island City Theatre with a production scheduled for August and hopes for another in the late fall. Naked Stage, which has been in hiatus for nearly a year and half, is preparing shows for July and next winter.

GO to http://islandcitystage.org/ to see what is currently being produced.


Rising Action Theatre was devoted primarily to gay-themed plays.
Unfortunately, they are now permanantly closed.
This was their website.
Content is from the site's 2006 -20010 archived pages.

About Us

Rising Action Theatre, Inc. is dedicated to promoting and educating the public in diversity and tolerance for all people through theatre arts. It will present plays with multi-cultural themes and works of social relevance.

David Goldyn, Executive Artistic Director, founded Rising Action Theatre in 2006. Since its inception, Mr. Goldyn has produced Say You Love Satan, Flora the Red Menace, The Andrews Brothers, Bent and Sordid Lives, among others. For Rising Action, some of the plays he has directed include Southern Baptist Sissies, Some Men, Take Me Out andThe Sisters Rosensweig.

Previously, David was the Producing Artistic Director of the Acting Studio Company in Orlando for seven years, where he directed such shows asJeffrey, Ruthless, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me,andFortune and Men's Eyes. For New York City's Park's Shakespeare Company, he directedHamlet, The Taming of the Shrew,andThe Shakespeare Collage: All the World's a Stage.In Los Angeles, he directed and produced the held-over hitStray Dog StoryandFrom Shirley Temple to Aimee Semple.

As an actor, David has appeared with Jack Scalia in Pointman, Eric Roberts in Saved by the Light, Dolly Parton in Heavens to Betsy, Lorna Luft in Carnival and in Unsolved Mysteries.

David has taught acting at Theatre of Arts in Los Angeles and at Nat Horne Musical Theatre in New York City. He holds a Master's Degree in Theatre from NYU and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and teaches theatre at Broward College and Miami Dade College. He is involved in the production of the recent Broadway revival of Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenowith.

Andy Rogow, Producing Director, is well- known in the South Florida theatrical community. He is the former Artisitic Director of the Hollywood Playhouse, which received many Carbonell and Curtain Up awards and nominations during his tenure. He is also a Past-President of the Theatre League of South Florida, having served on its Board of Directors for six years and founding the Producers Forum. For the past several years, he has worked as a freelance director. His most recent credits include: Steve Solomon's My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy and its two sequels, which have toured the country extensively over the past 7 years, including stops at the Broward Center for the Performaing Arts and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. He also directed the musical revue Food Fight which had a successful run at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre several seasons ago, and toured nationally last year with extended runs in Atlanta and St. Louis. Most recently, he directed Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Bloomw with Elayne Wilks at the JCAT Theatre in North Miami Beach.

Jerry Jensen, Managing Director, has an extensive business career and a lifelong interest and active participation in the arts. He is currently President of Jerry Jensen and Associates, LLC., which advises small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits. He has 40 years senior management and consulting experience in diversified Fortune 1000 and entrepreneurial companies, a Big 5 accounting and consulting firm, a not-for-profit regional arts center and a leading credit card bank. His management experience has ranged from owning three small businesses to managing two large operations each with 350 employees. His experience is invaluable as far as dealing with the nitty gritty of keeping the theater clean. He knows how to hire cleaners, order janitorial supplies like cleaning products, all the paper products needed for the rest rooms, the trash bags, etc. You simply don't go to the local super market to get your janitorial supplies if you are looking to save money. He already had a great e-commerce site for those pesky janitorial supplies that he knew about from his previous experience. The man wears many hats. He holds Masters and Bachelors degrees in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.

Jerry has participated in the performing and cinema arts for many years. He has acted in over 60 plays in ten states, directed more than a dozen productions and done backstage duty on many more. He has served as an officer on the Boards of the Germantown Community Theatre (TN), the Wilmington Drama League (DE), the Public Theatre of South Florida and Rising Action Theatre, where he has also served as Business Manager for over two years. For two years he was the Executive Director of the Wichita Center for the Arts, a regional arts center incorporating an art museum, a professional community theatre, and a school for the visual and performing arts. In college, he was President of the Cornell Cinema Society, a highly successful film program which attracted over 50,000 attendees annually, and after graduation, owned a 16mm film rental company. The Jerry Jensen Cinema 16 Film Collection is now housed at the University of Nebraska.



Straight Dad + Gay Son = Unconditional Love 
Mary Damiano
South Florida Gay News
April 19, 2010


Theatre can be a life-changing experience. Just ask Steven Chambers, the director of The Sum of Us, which opens April 22 at Rising Action Theatre.
In 1993, Chambers, who is also an actor, moved to Atlanta and wanted to become involved with the theatre scene. He saw a posting for auditions for The Sum of Us, and while he wasn’t quite right for a role, he signed on as the production’s stage manager.
“I got to know someone who was working in the box office at that time, who also happened to be the president of the board of the company,” says Chambers. “He is now my partner of 15 years, so I have a very special connection to this play.”
The Sum of Us, written by David Stevens, is about a young, gay, Australian man who enjoys a close relationship with his father. The father is completely accepting of his son’s orientation, to the point where he does some meddling to help his son find Mr. Right. At the same time, the father, who is a widower, has signed up for a dating service in hopes of finding Miss Right. The play was made into a 1994 movie starring Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson, and is regarded as Crowe’s breakthrough film.
The title comes from the father’s reasoning about loving children unconditionally, because they are the product of the parents and all ancestors who came before, literally the sum of us, and therefore, how could he not love someone he had created.
“It’s the story of a young gay man and his father and the acceptance, to a fault, by the father of his son’s sexual orientation,” says Chambers. “But beyond that—regardless of your gender or sexual orientation—it’s about knowing that a parent loves you and cares for you and that you can feel close to someone the way this father and son do.”
According to Chambers, the biggest challenge in the Rising Action production of The Sum of Us was finding performers who could affect a believable Australian dialect.
“You can’t produce a play that’s set in Australia, with Australian references and Australian customs without having actors who can do an Australian dialect, and it’s not an easy dialect to do,” says Chambers. “Americans have a lot of problems wrapping their lips around those vowel sounds.”
Chambers feels confident that he’s found a cast who can pull it off, including actress Linda Ellis, a British woman who lived in Australia for a time. The cast is also working with dialect CDs and workbooks to learn Australian speech patterns and rhythms. Ironically, a friend of Chambers’ is going through a similar situation. The friend is in Perth, Australia, directing a production of a play set in the American south, and is tasked with getting his Australian cast to affect a believable southern dialect.
The Sum of Us features Rising Action alum John McGlothlin, who delivered a critically-acclaimed performance in the theatre’s production of Bent last year. McGlothlin plays the gay son, while Ned Cray plays his dad.
Chambers wears many theatrical hats. As an actor, he has appeared in productions at Stage Door Theatre, including The Odd Couple and the world premiere production of Knish Alley; at the Public Theatre, where he was assistant artistic director for several years. He just completed a run of Equus at New Theatre. He’s directed at several area theatres, including On Golden Pond and The Normal Heart at the Public Theatre, The MO of MI at the Sol Theatre, and California Suite at Tamarac Theatre and Curtain Call Playhouse. He was also the sign language coach for Fill Our Mouths, which made its world premiere at New Theatre. He is currently the literary manager for New Theatre.
“I don’t have a preference,” says Chambers, regarding his multi-faceted theatrical background. “I like to be a part of something that I feel a connection to. If it doesn’t speak to me on some level, it’s not something I want to be a part of.”
Chambers classifies The Sum of Us as a dramedy. “It’s has humor, it has some pathos. It’s one of those roller-coaster rides, and I think the audience, in the end, will have a really warm feeling by the time it’s all over.”
The show runs April 22 through May 30 at Rising Action Theatre, 840 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park. For tickets, showtimes and information, call 1-800-595-4849, or visit RisingActionTheatre.com.


Gay play wonders: What if God was one of us? 
Christine Dolen
Miami Herald
December 20, 2008


Paul Rudnick delivers a different holiday story, serving up biblical tales from a gay point of view.

As biblical revisionism goes, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told is way funnier than just about any other retelling of the Old Testament.

Usually, the stories of the world's creation, the great flood, Moses and his people in Egypt are moving, illuminating, spiritual, awe-inspiring. Seldom are they a laugh riot. And a gay laugh riot, at that.

The cast at the Rising Action Theatre in Oakland Park is donning (and doffing) its gay apparel for a holiday production that is most definitely not A Christmas Carol. Rudnick's Fabulous (which, at almost three hours, feels like one of the longest stories ever told) presents design and acting challenges for the company. But though this is in no way a knockout production, it delivers most of the bawdiness, laughs, tenderness and wry humor in Rudnick's 1998 script.

The all-powerful creator of Rudnick's universe is a Stage Manager (Linda Ellis) who sits near the action, calling cues and tossing in the occasional snarky comment. The occupants of this Eden are Adam (Larry Fields) and Steve (Ricardo Rodriguez), gay men who appear to have been created wearing dance belts. The two soon invent kissing, then sex, and once they're tossed out of the garden, they appear fully nude. (Just so you know you're not in for your standard Christmas pageant if you decide to see Fabulous.)

Soon the boys meet their lesbian counterparts, Jane (Martica De Cardenas) and Mabel (Emily Ocheltree). The four wander together through centuries of biblical history. They are tempted by various amorous animals on Noah's ark. In Egypt, they encounter a deadpan Pharaoh (Robert Tamayo) and his perky boyfriend Moses, aka Brad (Robert Graham). A very different living nativity scene (with Mabel as Mary and Jane standing in for Joseph) winds up the long first act.

Act Two is set in 1998 Manhattan, when AIDS drugs weren't as effective as many are now (yes, that's part of the plot, but a small part). Adam and Steve now share a Greenwich Village loft that has been fabulously decorated for Christmas/Hanukkah (the holiday-cheery set is by Douglas Grinn).

The guys are hosting a party where the guests include Mabel and a way pregnant Jane, a disabled lesbian rabbi (Kelly O'Sullivan) hired to marry the women, Adam's Mormon teaching assistant (Laura DeBenedetto) at a school so progressive that the kiddies have just put on a gay Christmas pageant, a pal who's working as a scantily clad go-go Christmas elf (Graham) and the droll Trey Pomfret (Tamayo), a racist yet somehow hilarious Santa.

Directed by Larry Brooks, Rising Action's Fabulous gets better as it unfolds, though a good edit wouldn't have hurt the sometimes-rambling script.

De Cardenas, who plays the self-described ''butch'' Jane, makes the most of the powerful monologue in which her cursing, ultimately moved character gives birth. Ocheltree is amusing as the flower-child, spiritually questing woman Jane loves. Rodriguez is a dashing Steve, though its hard to imagine him with Fields' Adam, who is played like a girly cliché. The dandiest supporting work comes from the deadpan Tamayo, drier than any of the many martinis Santa slurps.

Clearly, if a less-than-reverent gay treatment of biblical tales -- with nudity, no less -- would offend you, you should stay far away from The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at Rising Action. More seats for everybody else.


'Some Men' for Everyone -- Rising Action Theatre Production Witty, Well Cast 
J. W. Arnold
South Florida Blade
October 2, 2008

I have to confess, I’m not sure where I stand on “gay marriage.”  Honestly, it’s a dysfunctional institution that isn’t really working for society. Marriage rates in this country are high, but so are divorce rates. The best I’ve been able to do—so far—is a three-year relationship and I shudder to think of the consequences if I had to “divorce” a guy when we parted ways. That said, I wasn’t sure how I would respond to Terrence McNally’s latest gay play, “Some Men,” which opened at Oakland Park’s Rising Action Theatre last week.

For several decades, McNally has been the theatrical voice of the gay community: as the writer of famous works such as “Corpus Christi,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “The Ritz” (recently re-launched on Broadway), his witty and often biting commentaries cover the AIDS epidemic, relationships, and now, gay marriage.  A present day gay marriage ceremony at the ritzy Waldorf Astoria serves as the bookends for  “Some Men,” which explores gay relationships through a series of disjointed vignettes covering nearly  eight decades.

The audience is taken in turn to a gay service member's funeral, a turn-of-the-century beach resort in the Hamptons, a gay bar during the Stonewall Riots, a Harlem nightclub in the 1930s, a group therapy session and a present-day Internet chat room. An ensemble cast of eight actors shifts gears between 47 different characters to offer commentary on the trials and tribulations of the status of gay relationships of the time.

In the end, McNally is a cheerleader for gay marriage, but he gives the audience much to ponder. In one scene, two older gay men in a long-term relationship are  interviewed by students in a gender studies class, and the men question the “activism” of the current generation and profess, “We didn’t have it so bad.” The idealistic students immediately reject the couple’s complicity with a society that upheld public stereotypes.

McNally also introduces a storyline that    follows a gay father and his lover as they deal with his gay son’s intentions to adopt a baby – another advancement in gay rights for which there is mixed enthusiasm both inside and outside the community.

In what is essentially an ensemble play, several cast members stand out as they smoothly shifted between roles: Larry Brooks and Larry Williams shine, as does Joseph Long, who stars in the Harlem scene, regretting “the man who got away.” Newcomer Ricardo Rodriguez makes an immediate impression, to say the least, baring all in the play’s gratuitous full frontal nude scene. And, of course, David Leddick, the colorful South Florida septuagenarian writer and actor, provides a bit of comic relief as the token “queen,” generating laughs as a man named “Buffed in Chelsea” in an internet chat room, and later as “Archie,” a fabulous drag queen who slinks around the stage in a fabulous red cocktail dress.

Rising Action’s artistic director, David Goldyn, has carved out a niche, offering up a season of gay-themed productions to the large Wilton Manors and Fort Lauderdale communities. While the quality of his productions has been uneven, Goldyn, along with his enthusiastic cast, put their hearts into this show and audiences rewarded them with lots of laughs and applause.



Southern Baptist Sissies
The Last Hairdresser

Burning Blue
Simply Barbra

Eleven O' Clock Number
Confessions of a Mormon Boy
6 Dance Lessons in 6 Weeks
The Sisters Rosensweig
Some Men
Bathhouse the Musical
The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told

Say You Love Satan / Simply Barbra
The Andrews Brothers
Judy Garland Live
Take Me Out
Sordid Lives
Reefer Madness
The Sum of Us
Mr. Charles.../ Mexico City

2010 - 2011
Judy & Liza Together Live
Fit To Be Tied 
The Boys in the Band
The Killing of Sister George
Grey Gardens, The Musical 
The Mormon Boy Trilogy
2 Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winter's Night