The Placemaker-Poet: Coral Gables Museum

“The Placemaker Poet” is a “dramatic curation” exploring the life and legacy of Coral Gables’ visionary developer, George E. Merrick.

About this event

Inspired by the acclaimed biography “George E. Merrick: Son of the Southwind” by Arva Moore Parks What if Works, in association with Homestead Center for the Arts, Coral Gables Department of Historical Resources and Cultural Arts, the Coral Gables Museum, the Merrick House Museum FIU Theatre and Roxy Theatre Group presents “The Placemaker Poet”, a “dramatic curation” written and directed by Phillip M. Church exploring the life and legacy of Coral Gables’ visionary developer, George E. Merrick.

Before its incorporation in 1896 much of the surrounding land around Miami offered intrepid pioneers little else but mosquito-ridden, rocky backwoods of palmetto, pine trees and mangrove-shrouded bays. Into these inhospitable conditions stepped the Merrick family with a singular goal in mind; to escape the cold, unforgiving north in search of the healing powers of the sun and the south wind. What if Works sets out to explore the remarkable story of George E. Merrick, a man who traded his personal dream to build the dreams of others.

Offering an immersive, 90-minute theatre experience in three episodes, “The Pacemaker-Poet” blends Florida history, drama, poetry, choreography, large-scale puppetry, music and digital projections. Episode I: Migration “Departure & Arrival” – “Quarantine” – “Encountering the Doe” – “Grubbing & Planting”. Episode II: Boom Years “Ruskin & Morris” — “Merrick’s Dream Team” – “Housing the Bahamians” – “Trip to Cuba”. Episode III: Reversal of Fortunes: “1935 Hurricane” – “Bankruptcy – “Return of the Doe” – “Miami Postmaster”. Epilogue: “Walking the Miracle Mile”.

“The Placemaker-Poet” is a thought-provoking, interdisciplinary project, designed for multigenerational audiences offering a unique theatre experience suitable for all members of the family. ASL interpreters will accompany each performance.


Coral Gables Museum

285 Aragon Avenue Coral Gables, FL 33134

September 26th to the 27th, 2023

“News Release from the Coral Gables Museum”


2 thoughts on “The Placemaker-Poet: Coral Gables Museum

  1. So happy that this production is being made. It is not every day that we get to tell the story of the city’s founder!
    Here are all the dates and locations:

    Seminole Theatre
    18 N Krome Ave, Homestead, FL 33030
    Saturday, September 23rd At 2pm
    Saturday, September 23rd At 8pm

    Coral Gables Museum
    Tuesday, September 26th At 8pm
    Wednesday, September 27th At 8pm

    Cultural Arts Center
    7930 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155
    Wednesday, October 18th At 8pm

  2. The Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables is a proud sponsor of Professor Phillip Church’s “What If Works” project on his one-man theater production centered on George Merrick’s life. It is quite a creative endeavor written and directed by him. On behalf of HPACG, thank you to Professor Church for reaching out to our organization in the early “storytelling” development stage for input and inclusion. We are grateful for the opportunity to support George Merrick’s legacy in such a special way. Please Note the correct the dates for the two performances are:
    Place: Coral Gables Museum
    Opening night 8pm Tuesday September 26
    Second night 8pm Wednesday September 27

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