Juggerknot Theater Company is back again with another iteration of its popular Miami Motel Stories series. Only this time, there’s no motel.
Juggerknot’s Executive Artistic Director, Tanya Bravo, explains that its next production will tell the story of one of Miami’s most swiftly developed neighborhoods: Wynwood. Since there’s no physical building tying them down this time around, the production has been aptly named Wynwood Stories. The show will take place next month at the Wynwood Yard before the venue’s final curtain call.
“The concept is the same as our other Miami Motel Stories — we’re telling the history of the neighborhood through the decades — but this time, we’re dealing with a space rather than a building,” she says.
Different parts of the community gather at the Yard, says Bravo, adding, “The Wynwood Yard has sort of been like ground zero for the area. It’s a space where the whole community can come together, where everyone gets along from musicians to artists to developers.”
Juggerknot’s Tanya Bravo (right), Juan C. Sanchez (center), and Wynwood Yard’s Della Heiman.
Photo by Pedro Portal
The main purpose behind the Miami Motel Stories series is to go into a place that is about to transform and tell its story. The new building that will be going up in the spot of the Yard will be part of the conversation behind this ever-changing neighborhood, adds the executive director.
Wynwood is most famously known for its galleries, posh restaurants, and craft breweries, but before the area was gentrified it was a barren warehouse district. And before that, it was a Puerto Rican neighborhood.
“We often forget the history of a place, and so many have forgotten the history of Wynwood,” says Bravo. “Wynwood has been through such a drastic change in the last decade. A lot of the topics we’ll be bringing up in the show deal with the many changes it has undergone since 1917.”
As for the storyline, Juggerknot’s resident playwright, Juan C. Sanchez is once again writing the script. Although much can’t be revealed, Bravo and Sanchez can share that Wynwood Stories will deal with the tensions in the neighborhood, where the area is heading, and how all these unique stories connect communities — a sort of past, present, and future approach.
The Baker, played by Chris Krider
Photo by Christopher Duarte
“My research has led me to the many different people who have shaped the neighborhood,” says Sanchez. “And while their personal stories and testimonies do support differing points of views, they also highlight where commonalties intersect – in the way they toil and live and struggle and dream – in that place of shared experience.
“There are many clashing truths and points of views about the neighborhood,” adds the writer, “and as a playwright, I’m interested in exploring this complexity and its layers, but I’m equally interested in building community.”
With the Wynwood Yard saying its final goodbye on May 5, Wynwood Stories will be part of its grand send off. Bravo tells New Times that she has been a fan of Della Heiman, the Yard’s founder, since the venue’s opening, so being able to be a part of its history is an honor. “We’ve been trying to find a way to work together for a long time now,” she says. “It’s an exciting time and I for one can’t wait to see what Della does in Doral.”
The Wynwood Yard
Photo by Chris Carter
Wynwood Stories is being produced by Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works, so the two unique storylines will be separated into two Miami-Dade Transit bus routes. Whereas in previous productions, guests were given a specially-marked motel key, this time guests will choose between route 2 or route 32.
Tickets cost $75 and are available for purchase starting today. Each ticket includes two cocktails (one by each of their two liquor sponsors, Coconut Cartel and Drake Organic Vodka), and a cafecito courtesy of La Llave. The production will run for three weeks, however, this time around there will be more opportunities to catch the show with performances happening five to six times per week.