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Brévo Theatre Launches in Miami – The Miami Times

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Updated: July 31, 2022 @ 8:55 am
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A scene from the Christopher Demos-Brown play “American Son” featuring Thomas Herold, Demetri Narace and Terrence Pride (L-R), presented by Brévo Theatre at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
Zaylin Yates, Founding Managing Director & CEO of Brévo Theatre
Terrence Pride, Producing Artistic Director of Brévo Theatre
Zaylin Yates, Jamel Booth, Yvette Maureen, Christopher Demos-Brown, Sarah Lubin, Terrence Pride, Demetri Narace and Thomas Herold (L-R), the artists behind Brévo Theatre’s production of “American Son.”
A company rehearsal for “Brévo for Broadway” with Omari White (center) surrounded by the ensemble cast.

A scene from the Christopher Demos-Brown play “American Son” featuring Thomas Herold, Demetri Narace and Terrence Pride (L-R), presented by Brévo Theatre at the Little Haiti Cultural Center.
Brévo Theatre’s name may be a head-scratcher for some. But the company’s founding managing director and CEO, Zaylin Yates, has had it embedded in his brain since he was a kid.
“I was in sixth grade and watching the Disney Channel cartoon ‘The Proud Family,’ and in this one episode, instead of ‘Bravo’ they shouted ‘Brevo, Brevo,’” said Yates. “From that day I knew I wanted to use that phrase for something later in life and so when I launched this theater group, I decided to use that name.”
It was then that he also decided he wanted to either be part of or own a dinner theater. He thought it would be fun to have a restaurant and theater all in the same place, not realizing until he got older that such a thing already existed.
Zaylin Yates, Founding Managing Director & CEO of Brévo Theatre
A California native, Yates came to the Sunshine State to attend Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, where he met Terrence Pride, a native of Quincy, Fla., who today is Brévo’s producing artistic director.
Both were on an artistic path – Yates in theater performance and Pride in theater performance and dance – and ultimately received undergraduate degrees in those disciplines before going on to receive graduate degrees in business administration and urban education, respectively.
Pride recalls being a loner in his college days, at first. But after enrolling in FAMU’s program, “I evolved and ended up becoming friends with one of Zaylin’s friends, and from that Zaylin and I bonded.”
They established a partnership while at Florida A&M producing a dinner theater show called “Kissing the Blarney Stone” at a local restaurant, produced as a fundraiser for university students.
“It was during our final year in school together and was a rousing success,” said Yates.
“After we worked on the dinner theater project and during those years at Florida A&M, Zaylin said he was going to bring me along on his dream of establishing his own theater group,” added Pride.
Terrence Pride, Producing Artistic Director of Brévo Theatre
Years passed. Pride worked as a dancer on Carnival ships, a job that brought him to South Florida. And Yates worked at Publix for nearly four years while acting on the side and as an artistic director “because I needed my artistic side fed,” he said.
Yates began submitting grant applications for funding to establish Brévo in 2021; during that time he landed an opportunity to work at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where he currently serves as engagement manager in the programming department. He has so far received grants from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the Arsht itself through its commissioned works. Publix and social change organization Radical Partners are corporate sponsors.
“When I finally made that commitment to myself, this door for Brévo also opened,” said Yates.
“I remained in South Florida because Zaylin was here and we had started the conversation about starting a dinner theater down here,” said Pride.
Zaylin Yates, Jamel Booth, Yvette Maureen, Christopher Demos-Brown, Sarah Lubin, Terrence Pride, Demetri Narace and Thomas Herold (L-R), the artists behind Brévo Theatre’s production of “American Son.”
On paper, Brévo started in 2019, when the two friends began presenting virtual content including “Back to Broadway” to celebrate the return of in-person Broadway shows; “Artistically Conscious Conversations,” a series of talkbacks and symposiums; and “Protest Art,” a series of pieces incorporating poetry, dance and theater/acting.
All are deeply rooted in social justice and launched as both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement were ramping up.
“We took the different examples of injustice, we took each scenario and did a dance interpretation for each of those,” said Yates. “Ultimately, we want to share stories, not just tell them, especially for the BLM lives that were taken away and the fact they couldn’t.”
“The moment of unrest with George Floyd bothered me tremendously,” said Pride. “[The projects we were working on were] an artistic outlet and I knew Zaylin was the only person I could trust on that journey.”
Pride’s focus in the company is incorporating dance, which he says helps expose different cultures and attract an entirely different audience.
“Through our company we incorporate [dance] as a true strong standing element of performance,” he said.
A company rehearsal for “Brévo for Broadway” with Omari White (center) surrounded by the ensemble cast.
So far this year, they’ve produced their in-person shows at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, where they plan to stay until they have their own space.
“Being in Little Haiti helps us establish a central location in Miami and we’ve developed a nice relationship with them,” said Yates.
As Brévo continues to grow, Yates will stay on at the Arsht, while Pride remains a principal dancer with Peter London Global Dance Company; director of dance at Dillard Center for the Arts, a Fort Lauderdale high school; and a master teaching artist.
In 2023 the two plan to launch a new works playwriting series shining the spotlight on up-and-coming actors, playwrights and directors, and the plays are informing conversations that are currently going on. “Young Gifted and Brave” will be presented next summer; their first musical, “Five Guys Named Moe,” is slated for November/December 2023.
Advocating and protecting their artists is always at the forefront of Yates’ and Pride’s work, too.
“We are very focused on our artists being treated with the utmost respect, and that means the actual business side and them getting paid and taken care of,” said Pride. “It’s important that when artists come to Brévo, they grow and become more valuable as artists.”
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Periodicals Postage paid at Buena Vista Station, Miami, FL 33127-0200 United States Postal Service Postal Registration Number: 344340 as required for public notices per section 50.011(1)(e), F.S.
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