The City of Doral closed the eight converted shipping containers in which Doral theater space Paseo de las Artes hosts its micro theater productions for failure to secure the proper permits to operate them.
The measure took the actors, producers and the public enjoying Saturday night’s midnight show by surprise. According to Miguel Ferro, director and founder of Paseo de las Artes, seven police officers entered the performance space and removed actors and audience members from the shipping containers used for micro theater.
“It was an aggressive and unnecessary act that could have been resolved by talking and without humiliation. We are not criminals. We are artists who love the theater,” Ferro, told El Nuevo Herald. He announced that if no agreement is reached with the City of Doral by Friday, Feb. 2, they will perform under tents.
#Repost @evtvmiami・・・#NoticiasEVTV ¡Acción violenta contra el Paseo de las Artes! El director artístico de @paseolasartes Miguel Ferro @mferro denunció una situación irregular ocurrida el pasado sábado cuando 7 policías detuvieron las funciones de “micro teatro” sin mediar palabras. Ferro catalogó la medida como una “acción violenta de la ciudad de Doral contra el Paseo de las Artes”..Ferro agregó que no hay motivos para haber ejecutado esta acción y que agotarán las instancias que sean necesarias para poder operar con total normalidad. Vale destacar que en este recinto trabajan más de 30 artistas de talla internacional para entretener al público de Miami y por supuesto, llevar el sustento a sus hogares..#noalcierredeloscontenedores#paseodelasartes #cultura #artistas #teatro #microteatro #miami #doral
Posted by Paseo De Las Artes on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
El Paseo is calling for a public demonstration in front of the Doral City Hall on Monday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m., demanding the reopening of the containers.
“There are no federal or state codes that apply to containers as a structure. We just want the City to allow us once again to use them as a theater,” said Ferro.
Paseo de las Artes has presented short plays since 2015, staging 263 productions that have been viewed by 170,000 spectators. More than 600 actors have performed on its stages, including Enrique Salas, who addressed the mayor Juan Carlos Bermúdez, asking him not to take away the opportunity to continue doing theater.
Maggie Santos, manager of communications of the Doral mayor’s office, states that it is a public security problem.
“El Paseo violated an order issued in December that prohibited containers from operating until they had the proper permits. The City tried to help the Paseo since 2015 by extending temporary permits, which did not have as many requirements,” said Santos. “We met several times with Miguel Ferro to explain what changes they had to make, but since they did nothing, in November the last permit expired, a special magistrate in charge of the case ordered operations to cease as they were considered illegal.”
René Velazco, director of the City’s permitting department, recalled that the City had the courtesy to allow the Paseo staff to continue operating until Jan. 9, so as not to affect their New Year’s events.
The officials said that the containers are not prepared to deal with natural phenomena as a permanent structure according to the state building code. And that the modifications that were made to them were never subjected to inspection.
“Every effort was made to help them. But, like all businesses, the Paseo has to comply with the requirements demanded by the state, which guarantee safety and the community, “said Velazco.
Follow Arturo Arias-Polo on Twitter: @arturoariaspolo