On the main stage in Sarasota’s rich arts and culture scene is Florida Studio Theatre. Graced with a beautiful location on Palm Avenue, this venue has become well respected for its widely anticipated and highly acclaimed productions. Theater buffs of all ages are entertained and educated in this historic and inspiring setting.
Florida Studio Theatre has been operating in Sarasota since 1973. Since that time, they have been entertaining loyal patrons with award-winning productions and innovative programs designed to nurture the aspirations of young actors in the community. Today they entertain over 200,000 attendees on a yearly basis and have over 30,000 adoring subscribers.
FST is made up of a series of theaters nestled in an artsy enclave near Sarasota’s bayfront. In 1977 they were able to occupy the historic Sarasota’s Women’s Club building. This building is the home of the Keating Theatre, where the experience of seeing a play is wonderfully twofold. The ambiance of the elegant, old theater tells its own story and enhances the experience of the live productions happening before you. Many of their productions are interactive and the intimacy of the theaters draws attendees in making for a well-rounded experience for all. The theater campus also includes The Golden Cabaret, situated next door on North Palm Avenue. The Hegner Theatre Wing, on the corner of Cocoanut and First Street, encompasses The Gompertz Theatre, The John C. Court Cabaret, and the Browne Lab Theatre. Also here is The Green Room where you can enjoy a nice meal before the show.
FST’s calendar provides entertainment options for every theatrical palate. Annual productions range from off-Broadway plays to locally-produced works. Their Children’s Theatre offers a schedule of fun productions for the young and young at heart. The popular Cabaret Series showcases satire and music while tackling some of society’s toughest issues. Whether you’re looking for something fun or emotionally hard hitting, FST has a broad inventory of productions to keep you coming back.
FST provides multiple educational opportunities for community students. About one third of student enrollees are funded by the generosity of donors. Students benefit from classes and camps designed to be informative and fun. They are nurturing for those with a budding interest in theater and also offer adept instruction for those with a more progressed passion. FST’s Young Playwright’s Festival encourages children ages 5-18 to submit their plays. Lucky winners in the K-6 category get to see their entries transformed into full-scale productions. If you’re looking for a creative environment to hone your acting skills or take things to the next level, FST is also an inviting place for adults to pursue their theatrical interests. And for corporate events, FST offers team-building exercises that are sure to inform and delight employees.
Whether you’re in the mood for improv, music, satire, off-Broadway productions or locally-produced plays on their way to garnering national attention, FST is a great venue. Hopefully, they will continue to bring well-tuned productions to the area for generations to come. Check out this season’s calendar and support your local theater by visiting Florida Studio Theatre.
photo from Flickr Commercial Free by Clyde Robinson