Museum Plays is an Absolute Must-See


Miami New Drama has crossed the Bay blessing mainlanders with an incredibly innovative and new immersive experience: Museum Plays. To be blunt, it’s one of the best regional productions we’ve seen in a decade. The concept, quite frankly, is brilliant.

And the execution almost flawless.

Six playwrights, 10 actors, six ten-minute plays, gallery halls galore, all inside the Rubell Museum. The audience is either standing or sitting (depending on your ticket).

The audience will encounter a first date at a museum, an art deal taking a bizarre turn, a man meditating on how to write a play, two museum workers confronting identity, a goddess flipping mansplaining on its head, and a twisted-ass art auction.

The whole thing is an absolute hoot!

A ten-minute play could present narrative challenges, yet Museum Plays transcends limitations by incorporating the art and space of the building into its set and production.

The absolute wonder of being in a museum surrounded by the world’s best modern art immerses the audience into a state ripe for storytelling.

We are mere mortals in the grips of this production.

Museum Plays

It’s easy to compare Museum Plays to 7 Deadly Sins, a similar concept hatched by Miami New Drama during the pandemic. Like 7 Deadly Sins, the audience is broken up into groups and rotate from one play to another, eventually coming together for a singular finale. But unlike 7 Deadly Sins, here you are inside the city’s best museum.

Even the greatest of set designers could have problems replicating an actual museum.

We’ve seen nothing quite like this.

The whole experience is a form of thespian roulette, both for the actor and theatergoer.

No one knows what they are going to get.

The group you are placed in dictates the order in which you see the plays.

This in turn creates the mood or tone of your experience. That also effects the actors.

For example, we were in the “green” group and saw Aurin Squire’s Maybe It’s About Love first. This play, for us, felt tense but also light, romantic, even funny.

The “green” rotation led us next to Harley Elias’s Not a Scam, a play filled with plot twists and weird laugh out loud meta moments.

By the time we were escorted to the library for Rogelio Martinez’s Bedfellows, we already knew the deal, or at least we thought we did. Bedfellows was a chilling and meditative play, also very meta, and a little sad, but beautiful enough to solicit subtle tears in the eyes of some in attendance.

If we started with Bedfellows, it would have been a whole other theatrical experience.

And then what…

Then there’s Carmen Pelaez’s Waiting for America, which is confrontational and political. And Hannah Benitez’s Muse, which is sexy and introspective and also very meta.

All leading to Marco Ramirez’s Body of Work, funny and cathartic, cryptic and satirical.

The whole thing is a bang!

A powerhouse collaboration between two cultural giants…

…firing a 22-caliber loaded with six literary bullets.


Museum Plays runs through March 31 at the Rubell Museum (1100 NW 23rd St., Miami.). For more info and tickets, click here.


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J.J. Colagrande

Has written about Miami culture for almost twenty years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He's the publisher of The Jitney and a full-time professor.