News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2014
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

Actors with intellectual disabilities show us ''Life's a Beach'' in a free live dance-musical presented by Miami-Dade County Parks Disability Services

The performance is June 17 at 4:00 p.m. and all are invited

(MIAMI, June 13, 2014) — You may wear your favorite beach frock, but sunscreen is not required to attend the on-of-a-kind live dance-musical  “Life’s A Beach” at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the A.D. Barnes Park Leisure Access Center, 3401 SW 72 Ave., Miami.  The production is a presentation of the Miami-Dade County Parks Disability Services program for adults with intellectual disabilities in conjunction with resident artists Gladys Ramirez of the Miami Theater Center (MTC) and choreographer Ana Miranda.  All are invited and admission is free. 

The activity is being sponsored by a 2014 ‘In Park Series’ grant from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. In May, the Leisure Access Center was awarded the ‘In Park Series’ grant in the amount of $4,600 to create a theatrical production for a public audience. The endeavor focuses on enhancing the well-being of individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

“The In-Park Series is making a positive impact in the lives of these individuals who have intellectual disabilities,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Recreation Therapist Gisel Prado, who has coordinated the In-Park Series program since its inception three years ago. “They receive one-on-one guidance as they work on the entire creative process, including the crafting of their own costumes and props.”

The participants led by the teaching artists, were provided “a day on the beach” theme and then used their own experiences and ideas of beach wear and activities, sea life, and beach safety to create the show’s story. The preparations for the production began in May. 

“During rehearsals the actors have the opportunity to explore and expand their talents and interests within their roles. They are very enthusiastic through it all,” said Ramirez, a Miami actress and teaching artist on loan from the MTC for this program. “Many voluntarily bring their scripts home with them so they can run lines with their parents and share the experience.” 

“The dance and musical numbers allow each person to experience nonverbal communication and explore emotional expression through movement. Through all the art forms they are enhancing their motor skills and they have lots of fun in the process,” said Miranda, a board certified dance/ movement therapist and long-time resident artist for the Leisure Access Center. 

The Leisure Access Center at A.D. Barnes Parks runs full day and weekend social, recreation, and independent life skills training programs for adults with developmental disabilities and offers Special Olympics training programs. For more information call (305) 755-7848 or e-mail

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department: 

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.