Two years ago on Jan. 7, 2018, the city of Doral closed Paseo de Las Artes after discovering it lacked the required safety permits. Today, this innovative space has reopened in Wynwood, where it continues to bring 15-minute, Spanish-language theater plays in a very unusual setting.
According to owner and artistic director Miguel Ferro, City of Doral authorities rushed into ongoing plays and abruptly interrupted all activities. This issue dates back to 2015, when the city ordered Paseo to elevate containers due to life safety concerns during flooding. Authorities claim the theater defied an order to close.
By June 2018, it had reopened as Paseo Wynwood, at 3000 N. Miami Ave. Nowadays, people from all over South Florida come from Thursday to Sunday to watch short plays inside uniquely decorated shipping containers that fit around 15 to 20 people per show. Each container has its own story, setting and even its own genre.
“The environment is great because people are right next to each other … and if we are all tuned into laughing and enjoying, it’s fabulous,” said audience member Zurama Fermin.
One reason Paseo has become popular among Spanish speakers is that many of the actors are well-known telenovela stars from Latin America, mostly from Venezuela.
Paseo’s innovation and accessibility have contributed to its success, according to Ferro. In a community where tickets to the theater can cost more than $100, Paseo Wynwood charges viewers just $6 to see one short play or around $25 for seven plays.
Even if visitors don’t want to see a play, they can still enjoy music while visiting food trucks that serve diverse types of food, from Venezuelan cachapas to sushi for around $20 per meal.
Although Paseo has adapted the concept of micro-theater to Miami, the idea was born in Spain as “Microteatro por Dinero.” There, directors, writers and actors present short plays in various rooms of a former brothel.
Micro-theater was brought to Miami in 2012 by Jorge Monje, in partnership with Centro Cultural Español. Ferro started with Monje but later decided to open Paseo de las Artes in Doral.
Paseo Wynwood remains a family place that brings Spanish-language theater to the Hispanic community in Miami, while also allowing hundreds of actors, directors and producers to showcase their talents.
“As our slogan says: Paseo Wynwood is an oasis of good theater,” said Ferro.
Paseo Wynwood is open Thursdays to Sundays from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. at 3000 N. Miami Ave. For tickets call (305) 831-6826 or visit their website. Cost: $6 per play.