Zoetic Stage and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County present the Florida premiere of OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD

Zoetic Stage (@ZoeticStageMIA) and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@ArshtCenter) are proud to present the exciting conclusion to the 2021-2022 season of Theater Up Close – the Florida premiere of OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD, a dark comedy from Colombian-American Miami playwright Alexis Scheer (@scheer_madness) about a gang of viciously vulnerable teenagers trying to resurrect the spirit of Pablo Escobar. Playing May 5-22 at the Arsht Center’s intimate Carnival Studio Theater, OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD is a roller coaster ride through the dark and dangerous mind of the modern American teenager from a gifted playwright from Miami. The teenage wasteland has never been so fun and twisted.

Tickets for OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD cost between $55 and $60*. Tickets can be purchased at the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722 or online at arshtcenter.org.

“We are incredibly thrilled to bring the South Florida community homecoming playwright Alexis Scheer’s seductive and thought-provoking play, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, to the South Florida community,” said the artistic director of Zoetic Stage, Stuart Meltzer. “The play is a whirlwind of comic, dramatic and magical moments exploring this complicated yet mystical space between youth and femininity. Our Dear Dead Drug Lord is a true game of courage, culture and connection in Miami.

Turning your back between loud humor and jaw-dropping drama, OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD explores the darkest recesses of the human heart. Intimate in nature, yet universal in its ability to explore the need to connect, the piece is an unwavering and powerful reminder of what it means to be human. As it races to its startling conclusion, audiences will hold their breath.

The play was a resounding and extended success Off-Broadway, a co-production of Second Stage and WP Theater. Theater Scene called the play “the work of a born playwright and a unique new voice”.

Alexis Scheer is a proud Miami native and alumnus of New World School of the Arts. His pieces include Our dear dead drug lord (WP Theatre/Second Stage: NYT Critic’s Pick, John Gassner Award, Kilroy’s List, LTC Carnival of New Latinx Work), laugh in spanish (Kennedy Center Harold & Mimi Steinberg Award, NNPN Showcase), Christina (Roe Green Prize), The sensational (Actors’ Theater of Louisville), and A very Herrera holiday (New representative). Alexis also wrote the book for the new musical Shaken (music/lyrics by Zoe Sarnak) premiering this fall at Northern Stage under the direction of Maggie Burrows. His work has been developed at the Kennedy Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, McCarter Theater Center, Boston Playwrights’ Theater, Cleveland Playhouse, and more. Alexis’ favorite acting credits include the Boston premiere of Struck downa display case Equusand fiddler on the roof at Actors’ Playhouse, which she did when she was 13 instead of getting a Bat Mitzvah (true story). Alexis holds a bachelor’s degree in musical theater from the Boston Conservatory and a master’s degree in playwriting from Boston University. She is currently commissioned by Miami New Drama, Second Stage and Manhattan Theater Club. On television, she writes about Pretty Little Liars: Original Sinand has a project in development at HBO Max.

Stuart Meltzer is the founding artistic director of Zoetic Stage. He is the proud recipient of numerous Carbonell Awards for Best Director. He also won the Carbonell Prize for Best New Work for his piece The Goldberg Variations. In total, he has been honored with eighteen Carbonell nominations. His directing credits include Frankenstein, American Son, The Wolves, Sweeney Todd, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Dracula, Fun Home, Dancing Lessons, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Topdog/Underdog, The Caretaker, Sunday in the Park with George, After, Passion, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Stripped, Betrayal, Trust, Detroit, The Great God Pan, Assassins and fear hard. He has received five Silver Palm Awards for his work as resident director of Zoetic Stage. He earned his MFA in directing from the Actors’ Studio in 2002.

Elena Maria Garcia is lucky to work with Zoetic Stage! When she’s not picking up cats or replanting trees, she’s starting a mutiny. His last came up Fouacata! Or a Latina’s guide to surviving the universe at the Actor’s Playhouse. She is a four-time recipient of the Carbonell Prize. This summer, Elena presents her solo show, Do you speak Mexican?, in Alabama, as well as the staging of the City Theater. She is an assistant professor at Barry University and a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and the Actors’ Equity Association. His work is dedicated to his father, Dr. Francisco Garcia.

Sofia Duemichen (Pipe) is thrilled to make her zoetic debut in OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD. A Miami native, she studied musical theater at the New World School of the Arts and recently earned her BFA in acting from Rutgers Mason Gross University in New Jersey. Credits include Mariana in measure for measure at the Globe in London, Juliette in Juliet Among the Changelings at Lost Girls Theater Company and Edna at Mr. Burnsamong others.

Rachel Eddy (Zoom) is an actress/writer/comedian based in Brooklyn, NY. Along with her brother, Bobby, she is the co-creator of the award-winning short Jewish), currently in development as a feature film. Some favorite credits include Book of

Esther (Aviguill), The music man (Zaneeta), You are a good man, Charlie Brown (Lucy), and The 25thand Putnam County Annual Spelling Bee (Loganne). She is a UCB-trained improviser and sketch comedian with over 60,000 followers on TikTok for her quirky characters. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with her BFA in Musical Theater.

Mikayla Queeley (Squeeze) is a recent BFA graduate of New World School of the Arts making her debut on Zoetic Stage. Recent credits include: Rafiki in Believe: a musical show (Disney Cruise Line), Cinderella at Cinderella: A Fractured Fairytale Fantasy (Theatre Factory), Danielle in Bring it on the musical and Felicia Ferrall in memphis the musical.

Gina Fonseca (Kit) is a Miami-born actress and designer based in New York. Regional credits include Witch (Huntington Theater Company); Vanish (Kitchen Theater Company); Our dear dead drug lord (Workshop Premiere, Off the Grid Theater Company). She earned her BFA in acting from Boston University.

Tai Fruitstone (Pipe’s Little Sister) has been acting since the age of seven and dancing since the age of four. Now 13 years old, she participates in her first professional show when she debuts on the Zoetic stage. Tai has performed multiple times with the Miami Children’s Theater and MAD Performing Arts, and previous credits with them include: Mathilde the musical (Mathilda), The Addams FamilyYoung @ Part (Wednesday), Seussical Jr. (Gertrude McFuzz), and Anne Jr. (Duffy). Tai also recently starred in Miami Arts Charter School’s production of 4am and magic hour (Anne).

Rio Chavarro (Pablo Escobar) is a classically trained performer and native of Miami. He studied at New York and Miami conservatories to play and conduct. For more than 20 years, he has been perfecting his craft as an actor, writer, director/producer, singer, clown, mime and comedian. His love of being a spoken word poet, singer, MC, voiceover artist and world-class Charlie Chaplin impersonator has never overshadowed his love for acting. He has appeared professionally on numerous theater stages in Florida since 2003.

The piece’s creative team includes lighting design by Tony Galaska and sound design by Matt Corey. For detailed cast and creator biographies, click here.

PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor of the 2021-2022 THEATER UP CLOSE series. WLRN is the media sponsor. The Arsht Center’s THEATER UP CLOSE Series thanks Adrianne and Jerry L. Cohen and Funding Art Network for their founding support.

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