Mariah Brown

Show Art by Kachelle Knowles

A solo drama written and directed by Sandra Riley and starring Laverne Cuzzocrea

Historian of the Bahamas, playwright and director, Sandra Riley, brings to life the deep roots from which Coconut Grove community has grown. Her solo drama is based on the seeds planted by African Bahamian pioneer Mariah Brown.

Born in North Eleuthera, Bahamas, Mariah journeyed to Key West prior to 1885 to make a better life for her family. She was working as a washerwoman, when Charles and Isabella Peacock came to the thriving city to recruit staff for their hotel in Coconut Grove. Mariah packed up her three daughters and moved to the South Florida wilderness. Her Bahamian friends soon followed, and the Peacock Inn became the hub of the pioneer settlement. With everyone working together the community flourished.

By 1890, Mariah had purchased property of her own and built the first house on today’s Historic Charles Ave. Together with Bahamians and African Americans, who had come to work building Miami, Mariah participated in efforts to establish churches, a school, community hall and library. Over one hundred years later, in today’s Village West efforts are being made to preserve its early history and cultural roots.

Today, the flowering trees, palms, and exotic plants throughout Coconut Grove exhibit the influence of the African Bahamian pioneers who shared their knowledge of planting in the coral rock. George W. Merrick called these Bahamian settlers “our tropical way-showers.”

Mariah Brown is a celebration of her life, and of the Coconut Grove community of which she was such a vital part.

The mission of the Crystal Parrot Players is to present works that establishes the historical and cultural connection between South Florida and the Bahamas. Our thanks go to Shakespeare in Paradise for including Mariah Brown in the 2011 Festival.

Tuesday, October 4th – 11:00am – Bahamas Historical Society
Wednesday, October 5th – 8:00pm – Bahamas Historical Society
Friday, October 7th – 8:00pm – Bahamas Historical Society
Saturday, October 8th – 8:00pm – Bahamas Historical Society

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