New Theatre Slated for Demolition, Troupe Goes on Road in Search of New Venue

If you've been putting off taking in a show at Coral Gables's New Theatre under the assumption that the venue ain't going anywhere, you may want to bump your night at the theater up on your priority list. The theatre is going somewhere --- namely, to pieces.

The Laguna Street location has been the 25-year-old theater company's home for the last 10 years. The intimate 100-seat venue, known for bringing new plays and local actors and designers to the stage, has been purchased by Henry and Peter Torres of Astor Development, and is scheduled for demolition January 2, 2012. The developers plan to build a mixed-use residential and retail property in its place, says New Theatre board chairman Steve Eisenberg. So what will happen to the theater troupe?

"They did confirm that everybody had to be out and that there

wasn't additional time that we could stay in the property, because it

was indeed slated for demolition," said Eisenberg. "We are trying to

talk to them about other alternatives... either if they are aware of any

other properties that they have, or ultimately to come back into

whatever they ultimately build. There's nothing on the table, it's just

one of the many, many possibilities. We're looking at other sites in

Coral Gables, looking in Coconut Grove, looking in the Wynwood area.

It's a full-court press, and we are determined to find both temporary

venues, so that we can finish out the 2011-12 season, and then a

permanent venue, where we will hopefully begin our 2012-2013 season."

So the curtain is not closing entirely. Before the theater pins down a new permanent location, it will finish its run of Henry V and present its next play, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (October 14 through 30), at the Laguna Street location. Thereafter, the theater plans to take Twain and Shaw Do Lunch (December 2-18) on the road, performing at one or more temporary venues.


said that the uprooting of the theater would not affect the theater's

season ticket holders. "We're going to honor everybody's subscriptions

of course, and make sure that everybody gets their subscription season's

worth. That's always been very important to us, that our subscribers

are protected. And then hopefully we can begin selling 2012-2013

subscriptions with an announcement of a new space."


was hopeful that the theater's future venue would be even better than

its current home. "As un-fun as this is, change is sometimes good. And

change can bring positive things. As much as we love our space, it is

sort of off the beaten path, and a lot of folks still don't know we are

there," he said.

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