The dynamic trio above bring us Miami Motel Stories: North Beach! It is an immersive real-time Theatre experience telling the history of North Beach through the eyes of those who lived, worked and played in the area. The pieces are produced by Juggerknot Theatre company, in partnership with Ocean Terrace Holdings, and presented by Perrier®. Written by Juan C. Sanchez and directed by Ana Margineanu and Tai Thompson, the show runs February 8-29; Thursday-Sunday, 7:30 & 9:30pm. at the Broadmoor Hotel, 7450 Ocean Terrace, Miami Beach. Free parking after 6:30pm at the following locations: all along Ocean Terrace and Collins Avenue, in the lot next to the Hotel off 75th Street, and across from the North Beach Bandshell.
Through an immersive theatrical experience, Miami Motel Stories will share personal stories of the people who lived, worked, and made significant contributions to North Beach– and her ever-changing landscape. Resident playwright Juan C. Sanchez works alongside community partners HistoryMiami and community players to tell the authentic story of Miami’s neighborhoods – past, present, and future.
“North Beach is a unique place where history and nostalgia are woven into the fabric that makes up its present day — and looming future. Each neighborhood and area conjures up a specific time in the history and evolution of the area,” said Juan C. Sanchez. “As a playwright, my goal is to give voice and tell the stories of the people who lived or worked there. My research has led me to meeting and speaking with a wide variety of people who left their mark on the 24 blocks that make up the neighborhood: domestic workers, squatters, snow birds, observant Jews, the Mob, the very wealthy of Normandy Isle, Biscayne Point and La Gorce and the community’s newest residents seeking refuge from violence in their home country.”
Unlocking these stories, directed by NYC-based immersive theatre directors Tai Thompson and Ana Margineanu, will be four keys Blue, Orange, Pink and Yellow. Each key will uncover the several layers and changes in the neighborhood touching upon her many incarnations. From the lively and wild 1920s of Prohibition and the Mob scene that has been an ever-present stay, to the 1950s when North Beach attracted and welcomed middle-class Americas, to the boundary-breaking eras of the 1960s, 70s and 80s complete with segregation and integration, to the 1990s when Argentines, fleeing economic upheaval in in their country, immigrated to Miami converting blocks of North Beach into Little Buenos Aires, living along-side the glamor and violence that accompanied the Versace murder, to squatters taking root in abandoned buildings.
“Ocean Terrace Holdings is committed to preserving the heritage that existed in the 1950’s and 60’s along upper Collins Avenue and Ocean Terrace, and is looking to the past to inspire our future redevelopment plans for the block,” said Sandor Scher of Ocean Terrace Holdings. “Miami Motel Stories: North Beach is the perfect opportunity to share our neighborhood’s story and provide the community a venue to engage in this unique immersive theatrical experience, while underscoring our commitment to promoting the arts.
Awarded a Knight Arts Challenge grant, Juggerknot Theatre Company has created real-time immersive theatre experiences set in site-specific locations that tell the stories of Miami’s developing neighborhoods. In 2017, Juggerknot Theatre launched its first edition of Miami Motel Stories in Little Havana at the historic Tower Hotel, followed in December 2018 by a sold-out run on Biscayne Boulevard at the Gold Dust Motel by Selina and another two-week sold-out performances in Spring 2019 at Wynwood Yard.
“The Juggerknot team is honored to have Miami Motel Stories written by Juan C. Sanchez recognized by the Carbonell committee. Through our work with immersive theatre we hope to better connect our communities while highlighting Miami’s rich multicultural landscape. This experience has been pure magic and we can’t thank Miami enough for allow us to tell her story,” said Juggerknot Theatre Company executive director Tanya Bravo.
Photo credit: Daniella Piantini