Letters from the Issue of October 31, 2002

My suburban neighbor the drug dealer

But as the Sondheim lyric goes (in paraphrase): "We're still here," meaner and leaner after 9/11 and a lousy economy. But here. Partly, I think, because we and our colleagues at Actors' Playhouse, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Florida Stage, the Caldwell, and so many others who were around sixteen years ago and will be around (I'll bet) sixteen years from now, have been cooperating with us and each other thanks to their expansive vision and thanks to the efforts of the Theatre League of South Florida.

Perhaps by oversight rather than by implication, Ron conveys a sense in his article that we producers are deep inside our little bunkers ready to take shots at our fellow theaters. The truth is, I am right now doing a show in which the set was built at the Coconut Grove Playhouse shop, the costume designer is the resident at Caldwell and at Hollywood Playhouse and has loaned us a few items from their costume shops, and the lighting designer shuttles back and forth between us and the Miami Light Project.

Our actors work all over the map and often I have to check with Joe Adler at GableStage or David Arisco at Actors' Playhouse for a casting idea or two. Oh, and just check with the Theatre League of South Florida's Andy Rogow and he'll give you the lowdown on what we all are doing in terms of cooperative marketing.

This year I have been to see three shows at GableStage, two at Actors', two at Hollywood Playhouse, two at Dreamer's, and two at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. I wish I could have been to more but if I'm not in rehearsals I am at our performances five days a week, week after week.

We have been a home to guest directors year after year for sixteen seasons, often taking a chance on totally untested ones, sometimes with great results, sometimes not. This I say not to blow our horn (which actually I don't mind doing at all) but to set the record straight as regards one or two thoughts of Ron's in "Critic's Notebook."

By and large, though, I want to remind New Times what a great job it is doing in its coverage of the arts in Miami. And Ron Mangravite -- what a superb writer and champion for the theater he is.

Rafael de Acha, artistic director

New Theatre

Coral Gables

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