The State of the Pelican 2019

A scene from the Pelican Playhouse production of A Midsummer Nights Dream

The State of the Pelican

Fiscal Year Report: October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019

Where does the time go? This September the Pelican Playhouse enters our 20th season. It has been quite a journey that continues to delight and challenge. And let me say right from the start, we owe it all to the City of Miami Springs for having the courage and wisdom to support the theater arts with such gusto. Looking over my shoulder isn’t something I do very often, as live theater is “in the moment,” but the 20-year mark compels me to look back on what has been the most significant time in my life. To be able to plant a seed (my wife Nancy’s dream of a Community Theater in Miami Springs) and watch it grow over the years, watered and fertilized by all the sweat and toil that goes into producing live theater, and encouraged by the community to keep at it, has been a huge blessing. When we first gathered in the Senior Center in September of 1999, I could not have envisioned where we would be twenty years later. Amazing Grace!

But I digress… 2018 began with an amazing Summer Recital with 35 participants. What I love about Summer Recital is the actors get to select what they want to work on. And they gave us everything from Abbot and Costello’s classic Who’s on First to scenes from Harry Potter, Disney’s Liv and Madee and the Princes Bride. Huge fun and two sold out performances. The Pelican popularity continued to grow in the Fall with 40 players turning out. We had to find a show with a big cast and we did: The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon! The wonderful thing about this show is it has 40 parts. Exactly the number of players we had. Hallelujah! Lots of families acting together. The cast of Brothers Grimm below.

While we were in rehearsals for Brothers Grimm, something new showed up. For Halloween 2017, the City sponsored a Halloween Night downtown along Westward Drive. All the stores and organizations put up tables to get the word out about what they do. It was a big success, so the following January when Community Center Director Omar Luna asked if the Pelicans would like to help out again in 2018, I thought that’s what he had in mind. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was something much more! A full blown “Haunted Tent!” What fun we had putting this on. And it was such a big hit that we know it’s coming again and this time we’ll be even more ready.

Christmas time saw a break in the action for my main stage company and the time to step up for my “Acting for Young People” company to perform for the Miami Springs Seniors. This year they touched their heartstrings with my original play, “The Christmas Apple.” Lots of tissues in use that day.

After Brothers Grimm played to sold out houses the final weekend, we had a week off to catch our breath before we had auditions for our Spring show. We had been steadily growing in numbers, but I was unprepared for a record 48 players showing up. Not many shows with 48 characters, so I was really puzzled over this. The solution came to me, as do many of my good ideas, in the middle of the night. In 2001 we produced my original adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream and used mostly young people. In 2006 we revisited the show using mostly adults this time.

The answer was as clear as 24 X 2 = 48. 24 being the number of characters in my adaptation. We would do two casts. One adult and one with young people. And so we did. The first weekend was all adults (with kids as fairies) and the second weekend was all kids (with kids as fairies). Again, sold out houses and satisfied players. Our new space also afforded us the opportunity to do more with our Midsummer set. With the magic created by Artist-in-Residence Birgit Scaglione and Assistant Director Mary Reed, it really was a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The week after Midsummer, my Acting For Young People Class performed for the Miami Springs Seniors. A last-minute complication found me on stage.

This summer the popularity of the Pelican Playhouse continues to surge with 40 players signed up for Actor’s Workshop. It’s the one time in the year that the actors get to pick what they would like to perform. It’s a cornucopia of theatrical delights and will be seen at the end of the summer on Saturday night, August 24th at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoon, August 25th at 2:00pm. Come early, as with 40 players and their friends and family we always sell out quickly.

Events in the Rebeca Sosa Theater keep the place hopping! The Rebeca Sosa Theater hosted a film premier from Creative and Focus Films, events for the Miami Women’s Club, Kim Warner’s Anti-Bully event, MDC’s annual Mom and Pop small business seminar, River Cities Festival Talent show rehearsals, the Miami Springs Historical Society’s tribute to a WWII Veteran, the Jehovah Witness’ Last Supper, Nana’s Kindergarten Graduation, Silvia’s School Graduation, a free CPR class and since the closing of the Miami Springs Senior Center, the Miami Springs Seniors have been holding daily exercise classes. And, of course, Summer Camp for the kids. And that only takes us through the end of July. We have the Jr. Orange Bowl Pageant scheduled September 8th and five more rentals in September. The rental season produced $651.00 so far, with another $1,512.00 coming in September, for a total of $2,163.00 in 2018-2019.

We continue to partner with the Miami Springs Senior High Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta. They provide refreshments at intermission for a “donation” and make enough to finance their trips to various math competitions around the country.

We also would like to acknowledge hearty appreciation to our sister city, the Village of Virginia Gardens, who co-produced the “Brother’s Grimm Spectaculathon” to the tune of $500.00. They have continued their support for us over the years.

Facebook “Likes” are at 556 and climbing! What’s not to “like?”

People occasionally ask me when they find out we’ve been doing this for twenty years: “How much longer do you think you will continue?” And I always answer, “When you’re doing what you love, why stop?”

Thanks again for your support! See you at the theater!