The story of Wynwood Yard is coming to an end - the pop-up culinary incubator is closing in May. But not before it plays one last important role - as the setting for the latest version of an only-in-Miami theater experience.
Wynwood Yard creator Della Heiman has teamed up with the Juggerknot Theatre Company, creators of the popular immersive project Miami Motel Stories, which travels to different neighborhoods to tell stories of the community.
The result? “Wynwood Stories,” which will explore the history of one of Miami’s most iconic neighborhoods.
“The neighborhood has changed so fast, and there are so many different layers to it,” says Tanya Bravo, Juggerknot’s producer. “More than any other neighborhood, it has changed drastically. Several communities have come out of Wynwood, and that makes for exciting content.”
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Written by playwright Juan C. Sanchez, who does much of his research with HistoryMiami, “Wynwood Stories” will include vignettes set from 1917 to the present, about characters from the neighborhood’s early and new communities: the Puerto Rican “Little San Juan,” the old garment district, the artists and developers who helped bring about a revival (and, some might say, a demise).
The performances will be bittersweet for fans of Wynwood Yard, which is moving to Doral and becoming Doral Yard. Wynwood Yard and its next-door neighbor O Cinema are ceding their spaces to a large mixed-use development.
Heiman (of Della’s Bowls) still sees the shows as a celebration.
“It’s the perfect time to reveal, illuminate and celebrate pivotal moments that conspired to make Wynwood such an inspiring and complex phenomenon,” Heiman said in a press release. “And who better to tell this story than the most brilliant storytellers in our city?”
Last December, Juggerknot set “Miami Motel Stories: MiMo” in the rooms at a Biscayne Boulevard motel. Different scenarios played out in different rooms, where the audience met characters - a boxer, a Playboy bunny, a street hustler, hopeful developers and others - struggling with poverty, addiction, loneliness and the seeming impossibility of changing the neighborhood. The inaugural Miami Motel Stories took place in 2017 at the historic Tower Hotel in Little Havana.
“Wynwood Stories” won’t have a motel to use as a set, but Bravo is confident the space will be perfect.
“It’s a fertile playground,” Bravo says. “We hope that you walk into the space and see it transformed. You’ll see spaces in Wynwood Yard you never saw before.”
When: April 16-May 4
Where: The Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami