Playwriting group Astonishing Idiots to perform at Sunset Place

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Astonishing Idiots of Miami Theatre Company may have the most eccentric name of any club on campus. UM’s very own playwriting collective may not take itself too seriously, but at their first show this Tuesday night at Sunset Place’s Tea & Poets, they’re hoping audiences will see their talent is no joke.

Astonishing Idiots has existed informally as an extension of UM’s advanced playwriting class for two years, but it became an official student organization at the end of last semester. Members assemble on the Student Center Terrace every Wednesday to read and critique their newest works.

“I’m always pleasantly surprised to see what my fellow talented students can come up with,” said senior biology and English major Adrianne Babun-Chavarria about the weekly meetings.

Twice a semester, the results of this collaborative process are showcased for the general public. Astonishing Idiots’ shows have previously graced the stage at Open Stage Club on Miracle Mile and as a site-specific walking tour of plays set around campus. This is the club’s first show at Tea & Poets, a cafe and community space which opened at Sunset Place this summer, just a short walk from UM.

The pieces at Tuesday’s show run the gamut from comedy to drama, and they deal with a wide variety of subject matter. All of the readings are student-written, directed and performed.

“A lot of the pieces have to do with identity and discovery; a theme we feel many people, especially college students, can relate to,” said club President Ana Pantin. “The pieces that I’ve written are about misguided attempts at love. The characters want to do right but disguise themselves because they think the truth isn’t good enough or won’t be understood. It’s an especially fun theme to explore around Halloween. The disguises we create for ourselves come in many shapes and forms, and they’re worth exploring.”

Members of Astonishing Idiots are hoping that this free show will raise awareness about the club, both on and off campus, and even encourage other, aspiring writers to get involved.

“People should come out to the show and see how creative their fellow students are,” Pantin said. “You’ll see people that you never would have thought could write or act, and it’s interesting to see what hidden talents people have. It’s a reminder that the people you meet are multidimensional and everyone has a story to tell.”

If You Go:

“An Idiotic Event of Astonishing Proportions: Tea and Playwrights”

Where: Tea & Poets at Sunset Place Mall (5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami, Fla. 33143)

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18

Cost: Free

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/1754543798142447/.

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