Make every weekend epic with our free Weekender newsletter. Sign up today!

Fringe Festivals fall for Fort Lauderdale

Staff Writer

Two Fringe festivals.

Two comedic shows.

Two local playwrights.

South Florida talent is heading to both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the New York International Fringe Festival.

Fort Lauderdale’s Kim Ehly is taking her play “Baby GirL,” which she staged through her Kutumba Theatre Project company in 2012, to New York. Meanwhile, Casey Dressler, also of Fort Lauderdale, is taking her one-act to Scotland as half of a pairing (the other work is by Miami-born-but-living-in-Los-Angeles Luis Sosa) under the umbrella title “Driving With the Parking Brake Up.”

Dressler and Sosa will stage a preview of their show Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 at the Bluedog Acting Company in Plantation.

“When we first met at New World [School of the Arts], we didn’t like each other,” says Dressler, recalling when she and Sosa were freshmen. “Then, we had to do crew hours in the costume shop, and then we fell in love. We’ve been best friends ever since. We’re like brother and sister. We talk every day.”

They always wanted to do a show together. The two decided that Sosa’s one-man-show about a gay Cuban dealing with his family and self-acceptance, titled “Mangos & Rice,” fit nicely with Dressler’s one-woman-show, “The Wedding Warrior,” about her work as a wedding planner in the Keys

“That title, ‘Driving With the Parking Brake On,’ speaks to both of our shows,” Dressler explains. “That’s the perfect metaphor for both of us. We would totally drive for an hour and then realize we have the parking brake on, because both of us have our heads up our asses. We’re both dreamers, and have our heads in the clouds sometimes. Luis’ story is a lot about his own life and his family and the struggle he has gone through. It’s very comedic, but it’s his personal story. My story is very much the same … a moment in my life where, if I think about it in retrospect, was a big growing time for me and dealing with a lot of difficulties, as well.”

Sosa and Dressler will also perform “Driving With the Parking Brake On” July 11-13 in New York during the East to Edinburgh Festival, a showcase of all the entries from the United States going to Edinburgh, at the 59E59 Theaters on the Upper East Side. Go to for more information.

Since moving to Fort Lauderdale from the Keys two years ago, Dressler has worked for Boca Raton’s Parade Productions and appeared in plays such as Thinking Cap Theatre’s “Pool (No Water)” and Kutumba Theatre Project’s “Julie Johnson.”

Kutumba founder Ehly says the jury at the New York festival responded to her offbeat, humorous play about a young lesbian making her own family because, “I think the story is a very human story, and it’s universal. You don’t have to be adopted. You don’t have to be a lesbian. You don’t even have to be gay. It’s really about finding a place to fit in and saying, ‘This is home.’ I think that’s what really connected with [the jurists]. All I know is that these seasoned actors told us, ‘That’s the most fun we’ve had at a callback.’ “

She adds that in the two years since “Baby GirL” debuted in Fort Lauderdale, and with its upcoming run this August in New York at the East Village’s Kraine Theatre, there have been only minor tweaks to the script (not that she had time since she was also finishing up her master’s degree in clinical social work at F.A.U.).

“There are no major changes,” Ehly says. “What I did in the run the first time is add two lines to the ending, which tied everything together.”

Ehly is raising money for her production through For more information on the New York Fringe Festival, go to

Dressler and Sosa are raising money for their production through For more information on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, go to


“Driving With the Parking Brake On”

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (doors open at 7 p.m.)

Where: Town Square Mall, 6905 W. Broward Blvd., Suite 109, Plantation

Cost: $20 (cash at the door; reservation required)

Contact: 305-879-7282 or

Copyright © 2017, South Florida