“Repair” a Film/Theater Hybrid


The Studios of Key West has a Streaming Theater Series available for passionate theater goers, and those that might not have the opportunity to physically attend. One in particular, called “Repair” will have a live premiere on Friday, January 13th, with an 8PM screening. The play is written by Michael Marrero and Julio Trinidad, starring Leon Addison Brown and Julio Trinidad. As per its description, “After being shot and left for dead at an old repair shop in Queens, a mechanic awakens to find himself trapped in his garage with a desperate father. Now he must use his wits to uncover the truth and survive the night. What ensues is pitch black, tragicomedy of two men locked in a no-win situation as they navigate the price of justice, fatherhood, and revenge.” The unique film/theater hybrid was performed and filmed in front of a live audience in Corona, Queens. The streaming series is a unique opportunity for others to see “Repair”, as well as other plays. Marrero says, “I’m always a fan of live theater but not everyone has the access, so this is a great opportunity to expand that and also present it in a way that, hopefully, makes people feel like they’re watching a movie.” 

Marrero and Trinidad have known each other for about six years and have worked on several projects together. For this project though, the pair explain that it was a result of a desire to write something that explored the animal within us as humans. They wanted to create something that took place in one location and over the span of one day. Trinidad says, “We landed on a piece with a two-part question: What if you were blindsided by someone who aimed to cause immeasurable harm to you? And, what if you had the choice to stake your own retribution?” They went from there and landed on a play that shows the audience what an honest portrayal of that looks like: two individuals held hostage by their own instincts.

What is so unique about the film/theater hybrid is its sense of immediacy and emphasis on time and place. The entire experience was filmed with an audience, one that wasn’t quite expected, but immensely appreciated. It was filmed in Corona, Queens, which was crucial to the finished piece that is “Repair”. Trinidad says, “We didn’t want to go the typical route as far as performing in a conventional theater or making a film out of it, so we found an old WWII era airplane hanger that was converted to a mechanic shop in Queens. The space by no means was fit for a theater place, but we converted it to a set with the help of the family that owns the shop.” Trinidad explains that the manager of the space, Luca, opened his doors to them for filming. He is also a youth mentor, so there were kids around that came up to Trinidad and Marrero to learn more about who they were and what they did. Trinidad says, “We wanted to open up the space for the community to see what we do, be inspired, and hopefully engage them.” There are laughs and groans from the live audience that make the film a play, while also being a recorded film for others to experience elsewhere. To this point, Marrero says, “With this project I wanted to see if we could blur the line between a play and a film. Still have the performance in front of a live audience but bring a cinematic approach to the camera angles and editing.”

The pair express their great appreciation to the audience they had while filming, and all the help and feedback that came with it. The crowd truly ended up being an aspect of the finished piece and granted the performance its play aspects in the end. We are so excited to watch the finished product! Congratulations, Marrero, and Trinidad, and we can’t wait to see what else you have in store!

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