The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Zoetic Stage, a newly formed company founded by Michael McKeever and Stuart Meltzer, kicks off its inaugural season with South Beach Babylon this Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht Center. Written by the three time Carbonell Award winner for Best New Work Michael McKeever, South Beach Babylon explores the lives of five South Beach artists navigating the treacherous weeks leading up to Art Basel.
According to McKeever, South Beach Babylon was partly inspired by the eclectic characters that inhabited the sexy/wicked South Beach of the 1990's when Granny Feelgoods and Gertrude's Coffee Shop were the only dives on the block; and the Van Dyke Cafe was just a boarded up and abandoned eyesore. Enough of the past because South Beach Babylon is also about the present. The play focuses on what it takes to make art in and for contemporary America. It is about selling out/not selling out one's soul for profit/for survival and delineating the line—if it exists—between the two.
McKeever's South Beach Babylon not only challenges the (I)ntegrity and (I)dentity of the artists portrayed in the play but it also examines what South Beach has become as an arts community. Has South Beach been sold out? I don't know. It has definitely changed. But the art community has exploded over the last decade. If you need any more proof, just check out exhibit A: Art Basel 2010 and 2nd Saturdays in Wynwood.
An interesting tip: within South Beach Babylon there's a performance within the play that will be performed and choreographed by Miami’s Rosie Herrera and Octavio Campos. This should add another layer to this complex work.
South Beach Babylon, Carnival Studio Theater, Arsht Center, Thursday, December 2, 2010- December 12th, 2010, 2PM & 8PM. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for tickets or call 305.949.6722.