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8 PM

The Placemaker-Poet

A “dramatic curation” exploring the life and legacy of George E. Merrick.

$10 - $15

Event Details

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 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.

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.



Having retired after 50 years of professional teaching and directing, 41 of which was conducted with the Department of Theatre at Florida International University Phillip is now focused on the future development of What if Works. Throughout his career Phillip has directed over seventy professional and academic productions many of them from the classical canon. He received his performance training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and earned an MFA at the University of California Irvine. While at FIU he introduced film acting into the BFA program and assisted in development of a Digital Filmmaking Certificate Program. He continues to teach Acting/Directing for TV/Film part-time.
Having written and directed “Flying Solo with Artist X” a “dramatic curation” based on the life of advocate artist Xavier Cortada he is now embarking on the prolific life of Coral Gables developer, George E Merrick.

Ticket Policies


Box Office opens one hour prior to showtime on days with scheduled performances.*

Phone Hours:

Tuesday - Friday: 11:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday - Monday: CLOSED*

* On days with scheduled performances, the Phone line opens at noon and the Box Office sales and will call window will open 1 hour prior to curtain. Box office closes 15 minutes after curtain.



No refunds or exchanges are issued.

The Westchester Cultural Arts Center reserves the right to refuse admission and reject any ticket that has been issued by another entity. A patron holding a revoked ticket will not be permitted into the theater unless they purchase a valid ticket.


October 18, 2023

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