Action Inspires Art

Justin Koren Brings Local Tragedy to the Stage

Art Inspiring Action – a great objective for any artistic institution, and the through-line for Magnetic Theatricals, South Florida’s newest theatre company.

The company is the brainchild of Miami’s very own Justin Koren, a 24-year-old artist who has been involved in Miami’s drama scene since childhood. Koren was the recipient of the Knight Ridder Miami Herald 2000 Silver Knight Award in Drama. Since winning the coveted prize, Koren has traveled the world studying his craft with some of theatre’s finest teachers and professionals, and has recently returned home to produce his original piece, Defining Code Red.

“I decided to write Defining Code Red after the tragedy at Southwood Middle School in 2004,” explains Koren. “A 14-year-old boy was murdered inside a school bathroom by his classmate during school hours. The effect that this tragedy had on everyone involved was profound and I knew that I had to tell this story.”

To prepare for the task of bringing his piece to life, Koren chose to work as a teacher at Southwood Middle School, a school he once attended. Koren has also chosen to cast several professional actors who work as teachers for their day jobs. “Our cast is very talented,” he says. “We have actors who are school teachers, as well as members of the Actors’ Equity Association. Because of this, they have a unique perspective on what we’re trying to say with this piece.”

Koren and Magnetic Theatricals have earned the support of many influential people who have joined the company’s Board of Directors. Defining Code Red runs for only three nights at The Riviera Theater in Coral Gables. Show dates are February 23rd – 25th, and tickets are available at For group rate information, please call 305-609-1596.

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