Florida Studio Theatre announces 2015-2016 winter season
Popular and award-winning works like "One Man, Two Guvnors" and "Outside Mullingar" along with FST's trademark original cabaret pieces highlight the theater's upcoming winter season.
| 9:58 a.m. September 21, 2015
Arts + Culture
Last year was a critical and popular success for Florida Studio Theatre. In the regional theater's main stage and cabaret offerings, numerous productions set theater records for attendance and run time. Main stage productions of "Hairspray," "Dancing Lessons" and "Fly" garnered a tremendous amount community response and inside FST's personal theater lab, the cabaret series, original shows like "Dancing in the Street" and "American Pie" were very popular with the latter setting a personal FST record for longest-running cabaret.
And with construction and repairs occurring on the theater's two main thoroughfares, Palm Avenue and 1st Street, and the theater's oldest building the Keating Theatre, FST is poised to enter the the 2015-2016 with brand new theatrical resolve.
FST announced over the weekend the plays and cabaret shows for its 2015-2016 winter season. And if last season was a broad examination of the American character, then this upcoming winter has a surprisingly European and southern American flavor.
"Things are really picking up speed," says Richard Hopkins, producing artistic director of FST. "Our stock has never been higher. The general public view of FST is really high. The new Gompertz Theatre has raised our respect in the community, and with 1st Street and Keating and Goldstein theaters getting renovations, it’s more than $1.4 million being invested in the theater." Hopkins says in addition to the new main stage and cabaret offering, FST is reintroducing its Stage III project, which will present brand new plays to be announced at a later date.
"One Man, Two Guvnors" by Richard Bean (Nov. 18 - Jan. 10): Set in in 1963 Brighton, England, this hit comedy focuses on the hilariously unfortunate situation of Francis Henshall who has found himself working for two different sets of criminals and gangsters. Based on Carlo Goldoni's "Servant of Two Masters," this British comedy was a hit on the West End in London and was a surprise Broadway favorite in 2012 and earning star and Late Late Show host James Corden a Tony Award for best actor in a play.
"Butler" by Richard Strand (Dec. 9 - Feb. 21): This play, part comedy and part historical drama, focuses on the real life drama of Union Army Major General Benjamin F. Butler and his attempt to help free three runaway slaves who have shown up at the recently acquired Fort Monroe in Virginia seeking sanctuary from the recently seceding state. Butler, who was a lawyer, at first seems duty-bound to follow the law and return the runaway slaves to their respective masters. However, the offer to fight for the Union to earn their freedom. The major general and the slaves work together to find a legal loophole and find freedom.
"Outside Mullingar" by John Patrick Shanley (Feb. 3 - March 27): Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley ("Doubt") takes audiences to rural Ireland and focuses on the often contentious and potentially romantic story of two neighbors: Anthony Reilly, a cattle farmer, and Rosemary Muldoon. However, Anthony's fragile relationship with his father and the continuing feud between their two families is standing in their way. The play premiered on Broadway in 2014 and was a Tony Award nominee for best play and starred Debra Messing.
"Alabama Story" by Kenneth Jones (April 6 - May 29): Set in 1959 Alabama, the play focuses on the infant stages of the Civil Rights Movement as a children's book with a hidden message inspires a segregationist senator and a local librarian to get involved in the battle of integration. A regional premiere, the play is based of a true story.
"Soul Mates: A Journey to Hitsville" by Bill Castellino with Human Nature and David Rudder (Oct. 14- Feb. 7): It's a tour of the greatest and most impactful hits from R&B and soul. Featuring songs by The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Commodores and many more, this show will explore the sound that changed American music and the world at large.
"Yesterday" by Richard and Rebecca Hopkins and Jim Prosser (Jan. 6 - May 1): The British Invasion is coming to FST. Focusing on the power and impact of such British acts The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, "Yesterday" sheds a light how young British teenagers took American blues and roots music and turned it into sonic force of nature.
"Laughing Matters Vol. 5: Lock The Gates" by Rebecca Hopkins, Jim Prosser and Adam Ratner: (Feb. 17 - June 12): The fifth volume in FST's popular cabaret sketch comedy musical, the show will focus on the national and local stories that have been captivating the country and the community including the presidential election, immigration, new sand for Sarasota beaches and roundabouts.