Miami New Drama to Create Theatrical Adaptation of Famed Cocaine Cowboys Documentary

Collaboration with rakontur’s Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman
Supported by a $150,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant

Miami Beach, FLA., December 4, 2017 – Groundbreaking theater troupe Miami New Drama will bring a vital piece of Miami history to the Colony Theatre stage with a new play based on rakontur’s visceral 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys, directed by Billy Corben. Part of Miami New Drama’s “Voice of Miami” Play Development Lab, the collaboration fulfills the troupe’s mission to create original, nationally relevant drama that tells stories unique to Miami.
Set to premiere in winter 2019 at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road, the project is supported by a $150,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, which funds the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts. This is the second year in a row that Miami New Drama’s quality and vision have been recognized with a prestigious Knight Arts Challenge grant. The Knight Foundation also awarded the troupe $150,000 last year to fund multilingual adaptations of the classic plays Our Town and Miss Julie, for their inaugural 2017-2018 season at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre.
Michel Hausmann, artistic director of Miami New Drama, and rakontur’s Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, who all work on Lincoln Road, bonded through conversations they had over lunches or happy hours in the vibrant cafe scene on the metropolitan street. “As a group that loves Miami profoundly, we are not shy about facing our demons – and everything that has gone into creating the Miami story,” says Michel Hausmann. “Rakontur has found a unique way of telling stories about Miami that have resonated not only in our community but nationally and around the world. I am very excited about collaborating with them.”
Cocaine Cowboys tells the riveting story of the 70’s and 80’s in Miami, a violent era when Colombian drug lords turned the city into the epicenter of a $20 billion carnival of coke, cash and crime. Lauded by critics as “fascinating” and “pulse-pounding,” the film has remained a cult favorite, capturing a wild reality that has become a central part of Miami’s identity – and a period when the city began its transformation from sleepy resort town to vibrant international metropolis.
Miami New Drama will commission a notable playwright to create a play based on the characters and era of Cocaine Cowboys, with a rolling world premiere launching at the Colony and followed by performances across the country.
Co-founded by Hausmann, a playwright, director and producer, and award-winning director and playwright Moisés Kaufman, creator of The Laramie Project, Miami New Drama is committed to artistic excellence with a vision of theater as a powerful form of social engagement, and to presenting original and groundbreaking work unique to this extraordinary city. The troupe also manages programming at its home at Miami Beach’s historic Colony Theatre.

Lincoln Road is an iconic pedestrian district, located in Miami Beach, Florida, that serves as a hub for modern culture-seekers, both local and international. It is home to the New World Center concert hall, historic Colony Theatre managed by resident Miami New Drama company, and ArtCenter/South Florida, a collection of studios and gallery spaces for artists. Lincoln Road also features over 200 designer boutiques, national retail stores and fine restaurants and bars. For additional information, visit us online at

Contact: Mike Hicks/Elsbeth Pratt
(office) 561-655-3836 / 843-647-6395