Skip to main content

Payne Park

A Shared Performing Arts Venue Coming to Payne Park Here on the Suncoast

| Suncoast Post Staff |

The Players is a community theatre group dedicated to delivering the best performances and keeping the community engaged in the arts. The Players provides an artistic outlet for local non-professional theatre personnel and, by virtue of being on the Suncoast, has the benefit of an incredibly talented pool of talent. A good majority of those involved in the productions behind and an in front of the audience have previously been professional paid performers. Now, this amazing group of performers is about to have a new Shared Performing Arts Venue at Payne Park.

The new venue will be named The Stage at Payne Park, and The Players board created a wholly owned subsidiary under said name to oversee the redevelopment and operations of the project. The Stage is expected to manage, schedule and otherwise oversee the productions of other artists and groups that wish to use the rehabbed space. The name of The Stage at Payne Park was intended to denote the community approach that is expected to be taken for this initiative and not just specific to one group of performers.

Payne County

Brian McCarthy, a real estate developer and The Players board member, was named to the position of CEO of The Stage. McCarthy outlined the plans for the project, including the interior of the 10,000-square-foot building will be gutted and then expanded with an addition by as much as 5,000 square feet to allow for theatrical, musical, and dance productions. It also will get new restrooms, dressing areas for performers, offices, and an expanded lobby space. There will be room for dinner functions and possibly a soundstage for artists to rent. The expected cost will be around $8 million and will include a match of up to $4 million from the Player’s board of directors to donations from other sources for this project.

This project will keep The Players in Sarasota after they sold their old building and it was demolished in recent years. They have been performing in a converted space in the Crossings at Siesta Key shopping until a play for a new space is brought into reality. They will remain in this space until fundraising and rehabilitation of The Stage location is completed.

Stay tuned for other amazing announcements expected in the coming days and months regarding this exciting project. Sarasota has a rich history of support of the arts in various forms and fashions and talent that comes to the region from all over the world. This wonderful project will bring some new shows and opportunities for future performances to our region and is an exciting new chapter for the 94-year-old tradition of The Players.

Photos Courtesy of Sarasota Herald Tribune, The Players Website

Skip to content