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Performing Art
Michael Hollinger
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jun. 1, 2011 6 years ago

Scene & Heard

by: Heidi Kurpiela and Loren Mayo

+ ‘Ghost-Writer’ scribe makes a case for hyphens  
Playwright Michael Hollinger made a guest appearance May 19, at Florida Studio Theatre, to discuss his latest work, “Ghost-Writer,” which closes FST’s mainstage season this weekend.

During his whirlwind 24 hours in Sarasota, Hollinger, whose critically acclaimed “Opus” ran during the company’s 2008-2009 season, dined with co-producers of the play, along with “Ghost-Writer” Director Kate Alexander.

The 49-year-old writer admits that although he rarely gets to meet the people who present his plays, the connection is still “weirdly intimate.”

“My collaborators are usually so far-flung, especially this late in the run,” Hollinger says. “They’ve been working for months without my presence, and then I show up at the end and see the fruits of their labor.”

In addition to attending a performance of the show, Hollinger, a professor at Philadelphia’s Villanova University, participated in a Q&A session with audience members and a brainstorming tête-à-tête with theater interns. 

It turns out the writer’s calculated decision to hyphenate “Ghost-Writer” didn’t go unnoticed by discerning FST interns.

Asked why he opted for a hyphen in the title, Hollinger replied, “It suggests the dual nature of the ghostwriter in the play.”

To see what he means by this cryptic explanation, check out “Ghost-Writer” before it wraps June 4. For tickets, visit

+ WBTT goes digital with donation
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will be able to ditch its antiquated computer hardware and purchase all sorts of cool, techy devices thanks to a $10,000 grant from The Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

 The grant will enable the troupe to communicate seamlessly with each other, and the staff, via new computers, network office computers and provide Internet access at the theater, which will allow for credit card processing.

+ Booker Middle spends a night at the Met
 For the past few weeks, 35 students from Booker Middle School have immersed themselves in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” Nose in book, they’ve studied the story of the opera, learned the arias of the characters, explored Verdi’s life and documented their work through journal writing, photographs and video.

The students, who are enrolled in creative writing and visual performing-arts chorus classes at BMS, attended the HD simulcast of “Il Trovatore” from the Metropolitan Opera Wednesday, May 18, at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20. They kicked off the evening with an Italian meal at Mediterraneo.

The program is a pilot of The Met: HD Live in Schools, which transmits opera performances live from the Met stage to students.

‘Marilyn: Forever Blonde’: It’s the award-winning one-woman Marilyn Monroe story starring actress Sunny Thompson. The play features 17 songs by songwriters from Irving Berlin to Harold Arlen that were all performed by Monroe in her films and are used to help explain her provocative journey. Opening night is at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Asolo Rep’s Mertz Theatre, 555 N. Tamiami Trail. Performances start at 8 p.m. and run Wednesday through Saturday, with 2 p.m. matinee performances on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $17 to $65. For more information, call the box office at 351-8000.

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