Florida premiere of AMERICAN SON

Karen Stephens and Clive Cholerton in “American Son” – Photo by Chris Headshots
Karen Stephens and Clive Cholerton in “American Son” – Photo by Chris Headshots

Thursday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m. – Preview 

Friday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. – Opening Night 

through Sunday, January 26

Tickets: $50, $55*

Carnival Studio Theater


Continues the 2019-2020 season for Zoetic Stage 

and the Arsht Center’s 2019-2020 Theater Up Close Series

 Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and the Arsht Center (@ArshtCenter) are proud to present the highly-anticipated Florida premiere of AMERICAN SON, a topical drama by multiple Carbonell award-winning playwright and Zoetic Stage co-founder Christopher Demos-Brown. Set in Miami and based on the 2018 Broadway play and the recent NETFLIX film, both of which starred Kerry Washington (Scandal), AMERICAN SON is about an estranged interracial couple that must confront their feelings about race and bias after their son is detained by the local police following a traffic stop incident.Playing January 9 – 26, 2020 in the intimate Carnival Studio Theater (Ziff Ballet Opera House), AMERICAN SON continues Zoetic Stage’s 2019-2020 season and the Arsht Center’s 2019-2020 Theater Up Close Series.


Tickets to AMERICAN SON are $50, $55*. Tickets may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online atarshtcenter.org.


Directed by Zoetic Stage Artistic Director Stuart Meltzer, AMERICAN SON is a gripping tale of two people caught in our national divide, with their worst fears hanging in the balance. Set in a South Florida police station in the middle of the night, this riveting new drama centers around an estranged interracial couple searching for their missing teenage son, who happens to be African American.


Fresh from its highly successful Broadway run, Zoetic Stage will be one of the first regional theaters to present this important new work about race in America. Intimate in nature but universal in scope, AMERICAN SON continues Zoetic Stage’s mission to present socially relevant work by South Florida voices.


Says Meltzer of the play, “American Son is a modern American thriller that truly reflects our times. The play speaks to all communities about the inequality many people face daily and the hope, humor and heartache surrounding it. It brings great joy that Chris’ play comes home to South Florida for all audiences to see it live on stage with an exemplary cast and designers.”




CLIVE CHOLERTON (Scott Connor) American Son marks Clive’s return to acting after a 14-year absence. He was last seen in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ (PBD) production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Other selected acting highlights include High Life (world premiere), Johnny Got His Gun (world premiere: author stage adaptation), Six Degrees of Separation (Canadian premiere) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (High Park – Toronto). For many years, Clive was an acclaimed film and television actor both in the U.S. and Canada, with notable projects including The WallThis Ain’t Going AwayNet WorthFamily of Cops and many other guest appearances on various series. His primary focus since stepping away from acting has been as a director. Most memorable productions include: Sweeney Todd at PBD (Carbonell Award – Best Direction, Musical); 1776 at PBD (Carbonell nomination – Best Direction, Musical); Vices: A Love Storyat Caldwell Theatre (Carbonell nomination – Best Direction, Musical); The Whipping ManThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; and Clybourne Park. He introduced and reinvented the Broadway concert format for South Florida audiences with Sunday in the Park with GeorgeInto the WoodsFolliesThe Secret GardenMan of La ManchaThe Most Happy Fella and 110 in the Shade.


RYAN DIDATO (Officer Paul Larkin) Selected regional theater credits include: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Silver Palm Award); Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts (Carbonell nomination, Best Supporting Actor) at Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center; Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville (Louisville, KY); The Goldberg Variations at Island City Stage; 12 Angry Men at Florida Repertory Theatre (Fort Myers); Red (Carbonell nomination, Best Supporting Actor); CockCasa ValentinaWhite Guy on the Bus and Speech & Debate at GableStage; 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). Didato received his BFA from the University of Florida/New World School of the Arts and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.


JAMES SAMUEL RANDOLPH (Lieutenant John Stokes) has appeared in over 100 plays, commercials, television shows and feature films. James is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He has performed in many professional theaters in the region. He won a Carbonell Award in the dual roles of Belize and Mr. Lies in Angels in America at New Theatre. He appeared in a short film titled Night and Daywritten by Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, which was shown at the Cannes’ Film Festival’s Short Film Corner Showcase. James played Martin Dysart in Equus at New Theatre and was named Best Supporting Actor of the Year by Miami New Times. He has appeared in various productions of the works of William Shakespeare, including the title roles in OthelloKing Lear and Macbeth. He was last seen as Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy at the Jewish Cultural Arts Theatre. He has directed over 100 plays and musicals. Currently, he is an associate professor in the Theater Division at New World School of The Arts. James has taught at the University of Miami, the University of Florida and Barry University, and has trained professional actors as a consultant for the South Florida Theatre League.


KAREN STEPHENS (Kendra Ellis-Connor) recently completed a run in The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Miami New Drama). Other recent projects include: Kings (Gablestage), Fences (Palm Beach Dramaworks), Having Our Say, (Primal Forces) and Michael McKeever’s Dracula (Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center). She received a Best Actress Carbonell Award for her performance in Fear Up Harsh (Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center), a Miami New Times Best Actress Award for Sarah Jones’ Bridge and Tunnel (The Women’s Theatre Project) and is a four-time Silver Palm Award recipient. Karen is a regular panelist for Becon TV’sSpotlight on the Arts, and has also appeared on Burn NoticeThe GladesBloodline and The Oath.


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 and Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, all at Zoetic Stage at the Arsht Center. He is also a Carbonell Award winner for Best New Work for his play The Goldberg Variations. Altogether, he has been honored with 16 Carbonell nominations. He is pleased to return to the Carnival Studio Theater at the Adrienne Arsht Center after directing Zoetic Stage’s highly successful productions of The Wolves; Sweeney Todd; Every Brilliant Thing; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; Dracula; Fun Home; Dancing Lessons; Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts; Topdog/Underdog; The Caretaker; Fuacata! A Latina’s Guide To Surviving the Universe; Sunday in the Park With George; After; Passion; Rapture, Blister, BurnStrippedBetrayalTrustDetroit; The Great God PanAssassinsFear Up HarshThe Savannah DisputationAll New PeopleI Am My Own WifeMoscowThe SantaLand DiariesCaptiva; 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’ LysistrataKiss of the Spider WomanPainted AliceEverything Will Be Different and Melt. He is the recipient of three Silver Palm Awards for his work as resident director of Zoetic Stage. He received his MFA in Directing from the Actors’ Studio in 2002 and BFA from New World School of the Arts in Miami, where he currently serves on the faculty.


CHRISTOPHER DEMOS-BROWN (Playwright) and his wife, Stephanie, are co-founders of Zoetic Stage, where Chris’ previous plays CaptivaFear Up HarshStripped and Wrongful Death & Other Circus Acts premiered at the Arsht Center. Honors include the Laurents/Hatcher Award, a Steinberg Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association and multiple regional theater honors (including three Carbonell Awards and the inaugural Berkshire Theatre Award for Outstanding New Work). Chris is currently writing a limited series for FX. Before going to Broadway, American Son was developed at Zoetic Stage and written with and for the cast you are about to see. For more information, visit DemosBrown.com.


The play’s creative team features scenic and properties design by Natalie Taveras and Jodi Dellaventura, lighting design by Rebecca Montero, costume design by Marina Pareja, sound design by Matt Corey, and technical direction and set construction by BJ Duncan. Amy Rauchwerger is Zoetic Stage’s resident stage manager, and Ariana Rodriguez is the assistant stage manager.


For detailed bios on the cast and creative team, please click here to download the Playbill.


The Arsht Center’s 2019-2020 THEATER UP CLOSE SERIES is generously supported by Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen, and WLRN.

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