| Theater |

Chinese Mysticism Envelops The Red Thread at PlayGround Theatre

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Listen up all you overachievers out there: Naps can be very productive. In fact, The Red Thread, a new original production opening Wednesday at Miami Shores' PlayGround Theatre, is the product of such a siesta. "The original inspiration came from a Chinese folktale called 'The Magical Embroidery,' which Fernando Calzadilla, co-writer and production designer of The Red Thread, read to me while I was napping on the couch in his studio," says PlayGround artistic director Stephanie Ansin, who wrote the new play.

Three elements from the story's imagery ― fairies weaving in a pink cave, a tapestry that comes alive, and a stone horse that transforms and takes to the sky ― captured Ansin's imagination and compelled her to bring it to the stage. Read on to learn about the story and production.

"We changed the story a lot and added in many other elements during our

two years of research and writing, but one way or another, those three

imagination-grabbing elements remain," Ansin says. The Red Thread tells

the story of a young woman's heroic efforts to rescue her father's

surprisingly miraculous masterpiece. Inspired by a variety of Chinese

mysticism, history, geography, philosophy, art, music, martial arts,

film and dance, the production's aim is to bring audiences on a "magical

adventure to our imagined China," Ansin explains.

The cast for the new play includes New Yorkers Christian T. Chan,

Christina Jun, and Kate Shine, who will join locals Melissa Almaguer,

Troy Davidson, Stephen Elliot Kaiser, Marjorie O'Neill-Butler, and Jesús


The run of the play coincides with Miami Shores' Chinatown Miami, a

Chinese street festival that will fill six blocks (NE Second Avenue from

94th to 100th Streets) with the sounds, sights and tastes of the

diverse cultures of China. The festival takes place Sunday from noon to 7

p.m. It's free and open to the public, and includes a green market,

arts and crafts, and a traditional Chinese Dragon Parade featuring

actors from The Red Thread.

The Red Thread opens at the PlayGround Theatre (9806 NE Second Ave,

Miami Shores) April 13 at 8 p.m. and runs through May 27. Tickets cost

$20. Call 305-751-9550 or visit theplaygroundtheatre.com.

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