Miami New Drama Takes Over Historic Colony Theatre in Miami Beach

The historic Colony Theatre will now be operated by Miami New Drama, the City of Miami Beach announced this week. Miami Beach, which owns the historic theater, says the company took over operations of the resident theater company October 1.

Miami New Drama artistic director Michel Hausmann and managing director Lisa Dozier King are heading the transition.

Miami New Drama debuted earlier this season with the ambitious and complex The Golem of Havana, a musical set in 1950s Cuba and written by Hausmann. The production was massive in scope, anchored by a plot line that dives into the 1958 revolution as well as Cuban and Jewish cultural traditions. Next up for the fledgling company was the multilayered drama A Special Day, which tackled fascism and its consequences.

With a penchant for putting on rich historical dramas, Miami New Drama is the right company to take over a historic theater such as the Colony. And as it goes, the company has some great plans in store for upcoming shows.

“I’m honored to have the privilege of spearheading this ambitious transformation to a new Colony Theatre,” Hausmann tells New Times. “This upcoming season, we are welcoming renowned theater artists to Miami who will work alongside our extraordinary local artists. The result will be seasons comprised of world-class work that reflects the dynamic and multicultural nature of our great city.”

The Colony Theatre, which opened as a movie house for Paramount Pictures in 1935, has seen its share of good and bad days over the decades. But the city recently poured $6.5 million into restoring it to its original art deco glory before handing the keys over to Miami New Drama.

“We feel strongly that the city’s investment in bringing Miami New Drama to the Colony Theatre will further elevate Miami Beach as an international cultural destination and put our city on the spectrum for theatrical excellence,” Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales says in a statement.

“Miami New Drama is just the organization we need to propel Miami Beach’s arts and culture scene to the next level," Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola adds. "Miami New Drama is a professional resident theater company that proved their talent by producing The Golem of Havana, which broke all previous records held at the Colony Theatre. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Right out of the gate, Miami New Drama plans to start things off with a splash by presenting a production of The Tallest Tree in the Forest, a critically acclaimed show written and performed by Daniel Beaty. The show is scheduled to preview October 27 and 28 and officially open October 29. 
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Chris Joseph