Exciting news for the 500 Block of Clematis Street. Alexandra Clough at the Palm Beach Post just announced that a deal is in the works to bring the well established Naked Stage Theatre Company to the empty space at 522 Clematis St. This space used to be the home to Authentic Providence which has moved to Antique Row.

The Naked Stage Theatre Company was founded by husband & wife actors Antonio & Katherine Amadeo.

Antonio Amadeo (left) and Alex Alvarez make the best of a visit by Laura Turnbull to their home in the Island City Stage world premiere ‘Daniel’s Husband.’ | ROBERT FIGUEROA ROBERT FIGUEROA

Antonio Amadeo,  Laura Turnbull and Alex Alvarez in the Island City Stage world premiere ‘Daniel’s Husband.’ | ROBERT FIGUEROA

The Naked Stage theatre company is not a stranger to Clematis Street, last year they brought their innovative “24 Hour Theatre Project” to Palm Beach Dramaworks on the 200 block of Clematis Street.

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In an interview with Florida Theatre on Stage, Antonio Amadeo is asked why South Florida theatre doesn’t have a higher profile nationally?

We barely have a profile here in South Florida. How can we expect to have a high profile anywhere else? We live in a community that has no tradition for supporting theater, so there isn’t a core, community-wide audience of patrons that travels to all the regional theaters. Each theatre must rely on whatever small but loyal following it cultivates. This isn’t a theater kingdom; it’s a region of many small playhouse dukedoms. There’s a lot of quality work here, but few people know it exists as a legitimate theater region. There is no local government support and zero local broadcast coverage. There is no major relationship with any tourism information organization, so people coming in from out of town are not being introduced to us. If they happen to be theatergoers who enjoy exploring theater troupes on vacation, they are never presented the option by any concierge or entertainment information group. There is also very little effort made to cultivate new audiences and artists through local schools; many of which have great theater programs filled with students who are unaware that there is a local theater community to support and engage. Upon graduation, the students leave town without ever considering a return home to be a viable option. Consequently, they never spread the message that there is great theater in South Florida because they don’t know it themselves. I remember when I was in college; Actors’ Playhouse had an internship program with the University of Miami that served the theater and the students very well. MANY of the students who participated in the program have gone on to have great careers in theater. A number of them stayed here. What happened to that?!! We need way more of that. There needs to be a concerted effort by the artists and producers in this community to change all of that. I’m not sure what it will take, but we can’t sit around and wait for it to happen.

Now with two Theatres on Clematis Street, and the Kravis Center right around the corner, we are looking forward to making downtown West Palm Beach a hot spot of South Florida Theatre.