Fresco Productions & The University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts


The Penguin Tango

FringeNYC Encore Series • September 5th – 16th

All Tickets: $18, available at or call  212-279-4200.


After a critical and commercial success at this summer’s 10th Annual New York International Fringe Festival, The Penguin Tango has been selected to return to the stage as part of the FringeNYC Encore Series.  This top-selling new comedy, by Stephen Svoboda, is presented by Fresco Productions and The University of Miami Department of Theatre Arts and has “definite breakout potential,” according to the Village Voice.


The Penguin Tango is inspired by actual events at the Bremerhaven, Brooklyn, and Central Park Zoos.  This “ripped from the headlines” comedy about gay penguins, explores, stretches, and pokes fun at customary definitions of sexuality and gender.  In the world of the play - the world of the Humboldt penguin - there is no social norm for sexuality or gender.  Homosexual couples and heterosexual couples exist equally.  It is only when human zookeepers try to impose their traditional definitions of love, gender and mating that the penguins become confused and conflicted and comic chaos ensues.


The Penguin Tango company features guest artists, University of Miami students, alumni, and faculty.  Guest artist Steve Hayes is this year’s winner of the FringeNYC Outstanding Acting award.  He is also the recipient of the Backstage Bistro Award for Comedy and a three-time winner and nine-time nominee of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award for Outstanding comedian. He is best known for his role in the movie TRICK.  “Hayes’ rubber face alone could put the fey back in Feydeau.”  -- Backstage.  Guest artist, Heath Kelts has performed internationally at the Fifth Avenue Latin American Theatre Festival, Off-Broadway with En Garde Arts, in television with Cartoon Network and in regional theatres across the country. Guest artist John Bixler played Elliot/Odysseus in the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival production of Odysseus Died from AIDS, receiving an award for best ensemble, and works regularly in regional theaters including the Caldwell Theatre, Actors Playhouse, and New Theatre. University of Miami Alumni are Anna Becker, Andrea Pettigrove, Eli Sands, and Christian Mansfield. Current students are Brendan Maroney and Christopher Teustch.


Set and Costume designer Michiko Kitayama is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami.  She has worked from coast to coast and internationally as a designer.  Her work was featured in the Prague International Design Quadrennial. Playwright Stephen Svoboda teaches playwriting at the University of Miami and directs his world premiere. Stephen Svoboda, the Artistic Director of Fresco Productions, is the recipient of the Scott McPherson Award for Excellence in Playwriting.  His work, including Reconstructing Mama and Odysseus Died From AIDS, has been published and performed internationally.


The Penguin Tango follows in the footsteps of the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival Best Ensemble winner Odysseus Died from AIDS by Stephen Svoboda, which was subsequently published in Plays and Playwrights 2005. For more information about The Penguin Tango visit