When you sit in a theater to enjoy a play, you are exchanging the reality of the outside world for a pretend reality created by the playwright, actors, director and others. But to manage a successful theater, the realities of the world are all important.
The plan for a 300-seat theater at the Coconut Grove Playhouse was based on such realities; part of the reason it has taken so much time is that the plan to replace the old Playhouse was created after thorough analysis and vetting at the county and state levels. A 700-seat theater would not be big enough to attract and support the nationally known actors its proponents hope for, and there are now venues both north and south of Coconut Grove to house larger productions.
GableStage has been successful and will no doubt successfully manage the new theater envisioned for Coconut Grove. Attention must be paid to the voices of Joseph Adler of GableStage and Barbara Stein of Actors’ Playhouse, who warn of the problems of a 700-seat theater; they live here and know better than anyone — including Kevin Spacey — what will work in Miami.
For so many reasons, including the involvement of local talent, the plan as now approved should proceed.
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Sylvan Seidenman, Miami