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Arts and Entertainment Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 4 years ago

Florida Studio Theatre appoints Jim Sorensen and Caroline Kaiser to senior staff positions

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Sorensen will be an associate managing director and Kaiser will be the director of children's theatre.
by: Nick Reichert Arts & Entertainment Editor

As its summer season comes to a close, Florida Studio Theatre (FST) has announced two important additions to its staff before they enter the whirlwind of the fall and winter artistic seasons. 

Jim Sorensen, professional theater actor, tech and administrator and for the last five years managing director of the Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, will serve as FST's associate managing director being responsible to oversee the organization's fundraising and education departments as well as the theater's successful "Write A Play" program and tour. In addition, Sorensen will act as a new community liaison between the theater and local organizations such as the Downtown Sarasota Alliance and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Sorensen has spent the last five years as the managing director of the Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL.

"FST focuses on the intimate relationship between the actor and the audience, something I’m passionate about," says Sorensen. "Theater should affect you viscerally, and you don’t get that from the 76th row. I’m also glad to be part of an institution that is nationally recognized, and yet is still so connected with the community. Sarasota is known as an arts city, and that’s due in large part to the contribution of this theater through the years."

Caroline Kaiser, a theatrical producer, educator, casting director and actor, joins the staff as the director of children's theater. Joining FST from serving as the associate artistic director of New York City's Theatreworks USA, a family-friendly theatrical company, and as an adjunct faculty member at City College in New York City's theater department, Kaiser will directly oversee FST's "Write A Play" program and all in-school programming. 

Caroline Kaiser joins FST from being the associate artistic director of Theatreworks USA in New York City, one of the largest theaters for young and family audiences.

"I am thrilled to join the team at the Florida Studio Theatre,” says Kaiser.  “After visiting Sarasota, I was inspired by the community of artists at FST. Their dedication to making challenging and entertaining theater rivals the best organizations in the country. I was also overwhelmed by the incredibly supportive audiences. I met so many patrons who told me about why this theatre is personally important to them and their families. I knew instantly this theatre and town was where I wanted to be.” 

These two members to the staff are just the latest additions in FST's ongoing expansion due to increased audience attendance and community and educational programming. Along with hiring Kaiser, FST plans on hiring a director of education who will be responsible for the theater's adult, senior and youth education programs at the theater and in satellite locations across Sarasota and Manatee counties. 

“My expectations are that now with the addition of these two full-time education positions, we will further expand our reach into the community through the schools and the public partners of FST," says Richard Hopkins, artistic director of FST. "It is our goal to grow the 'Write A Play' program in schools as we plan for next year’s institution of a public platform for children and their families on FST’s stages.”

Nick Reichert writes about Sarasota fine arts, including theater, dance, opera, music and visual art. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2013. Follow @TheNickReichert on Twitter for regular updates.

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