He may not have presented the most provocative play or even the strongest season this year, but New Theatre's Rafael de Acha made his mark on the South Florida theater scene by continuing to put a personal vision into his productions. In the last year, the artistic director presented eight new plays and one stunningly original double bill of familiar works (Don Juan in Hell and A Christmas Carol). He assembled numerous combinations of actors in crackerjack casts. He spearheaded a campaign, still ongoing, to expand the theater beyond its tiny 78-seat black box. But most impressive of all, de Acha -- who designs and directs many New Theatre shows -- brings such intricate care and subtle intelligence to the details of design and staging that a de Acha production, recognizable anywhere, has come to be one of the high points on the South Florida cultural landscape.

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