Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: May 30, 2012
by: Heidi Kurpiela and Mallory Gnaegy | Observer Staff



+ Woman’s Exchange gives grants
Woman’s Exchange is a win-win type of place. Although one might pick up a quirky lamp, unique side table or collectible glassware, others might be granted funding or a scholarship to fuel their arts-related project. It is that time of year, when Woman’s Exchange hosts its awards event honoring its 250 volunteers and awards candidates with the money raised through the non-profit organization’s operation. In total, $330,000 in grants and scholarships will be awarded Thursday, June 7.

+ Students awarded for being dramatic
Saturday, May 12, Florida Studio Theatre actors performed award-winning plays to an audience full of playwrights. But these weren’t your average coffee-sipping, pen-wielding, experienced adults, they were all students from first to 12th grade — the future pros of the industry. These students wrote plays as part of the “Write a Play” program at Florida Studio Theatre. It is an in-school arts program to inspire students to tap into their creativity. The playwrights were present to see their plays performed by professional actors, and they took home awards at the end. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky emceed the award ceremony; students received medals in addition to a three-show subscription series to FST.

+ Musical comedy centers on the other side of the hill
The musical “Assisted Living” is coming to Sarasota, and it seems like it could be a hit for those who like to laugh in the face of aging. Southwest Florida songwriters Rick Compton and Betsy Bennett joined forces to create a comedic musical about growing old.

They’ve been taking this musical up and down Florida and, starting July 10, they will begin a weekly, open-ended run of performances at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre.

“It does not have Depends jokes,” Compton assures. “It’s the view of the aging process from inside of it.”
The musical centers on a sales tour of a fictional community called Pelican Roost and features two actors portraying 18 characters.

With song titles such as, “Help I’ve Fallen For You (and I Can’t Get Up),” the performance embraces the humor of aging in a light-hearted manner.

For more information visit

+ Key Chorale announces 2012-13 season
The Key Chorale wrapped up its season Sunday, May 27, with the Jacobites Pipe Band. The group dedicated its performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “The Ground” to the memory of Conductor Emeritus Dr. Daniel Moe, who died Thursday, May 24.

It seems appropriate that the group also announced its 2012-13 season, “Vast Voyages,” before Key Chorale takes off on its own adventure — a tour of Ireland and Scotland. “Vast Voyages” comes with the tagline: “Boldly going where we have not gone before.” During next season, the group will perform five works from 1791, the last year of Mozart’s life, in collaboration with the Sarasota Orchestra. “Cirque des Voix”will again feature the collaboration between Circus Sarasota and Sarasota Young Voices. A performance titled, “The Vast Eternal Sky,” will combine work from modern composers Maurice Duruflé and Ola Gjeilo. And a final performance of James Whitbourn’s “Annelies” will be recorded for a public TV.


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