As the quality of South Florida theater continues to rise, several companies merit high praise but none more than Florida Stage for its challenging, high-quality productions, outstanding mix of local and national talent, and 100 percent dedication to new scripts. Instead of relying on star vehicles or recent New York hits, the Manalapan company, headed by producing director Louis Tyrrell, presents an array of new writers and contemporary issues for a discerning, adventurous audience. The funny, fantastical Running with Scissors took on the age-old conflict between love and death. The romantic, mysterious Mercy of a Storm delved into marital discord and class consciousness, while the fiery, articulate Permanent Collection tackled racial prejudice. To this add top-quality directors of national renown, top-caliber acting, production, and design and the result is a consistently high standard of theatrical art.