History of The Main Street Players
After 45 years as the longest running community theatre in Miami-Dade, the Main Street Players (MSP) has gone professional after staging quality productions – plays and musicals – for the community since 1974.
The Community Theatre of Miami Lakes, as it was formerly known, survived despite the challenges of finding a permanent home. It found a way to do shows wherever it could to sustain the theatre, until it found its present home thanks to the generosity of the Graham Companies. The brief history below cannot give more than a glimpse of the hundreds of local actors, set builders, directors, and others who have dedicated their time and talents to making our productions possible and keeping our theatre alive.
In 1974, Joe Boyd, a greatly loved drama teacher from Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School, founded an amateur drama group and called it The Miami Lakes Players Guild. Their first home was the “Old Barn” in Miami Lakes and, after the Old Barn was torn down, the Players Guild performed in the Little Theatre of Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School.
In 1980, the group changed its name to The Community Theatre of Miami Lakes. But when they heard that a new theater had just been completed at Goodlet Park in Hialeah, the group called it home and the name of The Community Theatre of Hialeah-Miami Lakes was adopted. The first show at Goodlet Theater was in November 1980.
In 1987, the group incorporated as a non-profit Florida corporation, and later received 501(c)3 status as a charity for tax-deductible donations, a status it still maintains.
In 1999, the Hialeah City Council decided to renovate the Goodlet Theater, so the theatre had to move again. During the next three years, the group was “homeless” and put on shows wherever it found a temporary home.
In 2003, the Town of Miami Lakes came to the rescue. The Graham Companies, founders of Miami Lakes, offered the space currently occupied on Main Street. The Miami Lakes Town Council approved funds to allow the theater group to renovate the bookstore at 6766 Main Street into a black box theater, subject to the group re-adopting its earlier name, the Community Theatre of Miami Lakes, and returning to perform exclusively in Miami Lakes. While the Main Street site was prepared, the group produced shows in the auditorium of Miami Lakes Educational Center.
In 2004, the alternative business name of The Community Theatre of Miami Lakes, d/b/a Main Street Players was adopted and the Main Street Playhouse opened for business.
MSP has worked diligently to increase its audience base, carefully choosing productions for their overall audience appeal and tackling bold and relevant shows not often performed by a community theatre. Throughout this Phoenix-like existence, MSP has thrived. We plan to continue to present quality entertainment, help educate children, and provide opportunities in the arts by opening our doors to the talent in our community.
If you would like to help keep this little gem of a theatre alive, right here on beautiful Main Street, please donate. No amount is too small. For more information, please visit our Sponsorship Page.
MIAMI NEW TIMES
Best of Award
Arts & Entertainment
Putting on engaging stage dramas can be daunting for any theater troupe. Yet the diminutive and diverse Main Street Players is always up to the task. Sure, there are bigger troupes that draw larger crowds and cast more accomplished actors for their respective productions. But Main Street Players is special because its commitment is to stories and to telling those stories with hungry young actors and a stage crew ready to expertly build a small apartment or a makeshift park at a moment’s notice. The group performs in an amiable black-box theater nestled across from a multiplex. And it knows how to pack a punch. Even with its limited budget and small working space, MSP understands the play is the thing, and the troupe’s commitment resonates in each production. Main Street Players has had many incarnations over the years since opening in 1974 as the Miami Lakes Players Guild, often moving from venue to venue and putting on two or three productions a year wherever it could until the City of Miami Lakes offered the current space. It’s a small, talented, and versatile group that doesn’t mind taking on challenging plays such as the controversial Extremities, the deeply layered Living Out, and the provocative Closer. Plays with such driving and stimulating narratives would normally be shortchanged and curtailed by the quirks and limitations of a small local theater troupe working on a tiny stage, but Main Street Players is the little theater group that could, and it knows exactly how to give audiences a rich and rewarding theater experience.