Jan 19, 2023 - News

Miami students can see alum's play after district reverses decision

High-school students watching a showing of the play "Anna in the Tropics" at the theater Miami New Drama.

Miami high school students attend a Wednesday screening of "Anna in the Tropics." Photo: Courtesy of Miami New Drama.

Miami-Dade Public Schools has reversed its decision to prohibit students from attending the play "Anna in the Tropics" at Miami New Drama this month.

What's happening: Months after expressing concerns about its "suggestive and sexual content," the district will allow interested seniors to attend the play, with written permission from their parents, a district spokesperson tells Axios.

  • "With Nilo Cruz, an alumnus of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, as the playwright and also the director, the possibility of attending this Pulitzer Prize-winning play posed a unique opportunity for our students," the spokesperson said.
  • The play — set in a Cuban American cigar factory in 1929 Ybor City, Tampa — opened last weekend.

Zoom in: The Miami Herald, which broke the news of the reversal, reported that the sexual scenes in the play will be toned down for the student shows.

  • Superintendent Jose Dotres told the Herald that the permission letter will specify the content of the play to abide by the Parental Rights in Education Act.
  • "Done right, it's to the benefit of students," Dotres told the Herald.

What they're saying: Miami New Drama artistic director Michel Hausmann told Axios in an email that Dotres worked with him and Cruz to find a solution after the district declined the theater's offer to screen the play to students for free.

  • "I am thankful that the superintendent was willing to engage and made the call to reverse the decision," Hausmann said.
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