A recent Miami Herald profile on a new Spanish-language theatre reminds me how I wish I could speak Spanish and how I'm missing out on half of the stuff in the arts that happens here. I liked what I read about Teatro en Miami and liked what they were doing even more after visiting their website. That's where I found this YouTube video. It chronicles in pictures the birth of their second floor walk-up theatre that once was a radiator factory at 2500 SW eighth street and ends with a "trailer" for their first show opening tonight, Sangre, written and directed by one of its founders, Ernesto Garcia. (Watch the whole thing because the trailer is worthy).
After seeing the effort the acting troupe puts into removing the old machinery, cleaning, painting and constructing the stage, you "click away" hoping they make it. Sangre looks pretty "heavy" for the streets of Little Havana, i.e., their audience may be limited because of its elite references to classic Greek theatre, but then what do I know. The closest I come to Cubans nowadays on a regular basis are those times I visit the Latin American Cafe on Biscayne Blvd and the cashiers at Publix. Still, seeing all the effort they put into getting their theatre ready is inspiring. From what I can tell from the video, they are also talented-- from its directors (which includes Garcia's wife Sandra) through its cast.
Regarding the Garcia's, they are another example of immigrants struggling to make good and overcoming obstacles to see their dreams come true. Before moving into their new theatre on Calle Ocho, the troupe put on shows from the Garcia's home. The couple also funds almost all of their projects themselves. Before getting a job teaching acting at Miami-Dade College's InterAmerican campus, Sandra, for nearly 20-years was a professional actress in Cuba. When she came to Miami in 1995, she cleaned houses, taught Spanish, and worked in a restaurant. Ernesto has been a security guard, a delivery truck driver and a tire technician. In 2000, they launched the first website dedicated to theatre "in all of the Americas." In 2003, Yahoo en Español "recognized ArteMiami.com, a branch of Teatro en Miami, as one of the top 10 Spanish-language websites."
Which just goes to show you what talent and perseverance can do in freedom.
Help the Garcias live out their motto: "To not make theater is unacceptable." Buy tickets. Make Miami a better place.
Showtimes: 8:30 pm Friday's and Saturdays. Tickets: $20.00 Phone: 305-551-7473.