Sarasota News Events
FST announces lineup for Its
Annual Summer new play festival
Florida Studio Theatre announces its annual Summer New Play Festival, presenting three staged readings of new works by contemporary American playwrights. This year’s Festival features the emotional play, The Secret Wisdom of Trees by Christine Toy Johnson, the compelling drama, The God Committee by Mark St. Germain, and the new comedy, The Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latine Vote by Bernardo Cubría. Readings will take place on August 11, August 18, and August 25 at 3PM each day in FST’s Keating Theatre. Subscriptions to all three readings are $15-25. Single tickets are $10. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or by calling FST’s Box Office at 941.366.9000.
As Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, FST is heavily invested in New Play Development. To date, FST has produced over 30 World Premieres, many of which have been nurtured through the theatre’s artistic initiatives. Through reading series, like the Summer New Play Festival, FST gives select works-in-progress a platform, a live audience, artistic support, and valuable feedback.
The playwrights highlighted in this Festival will each travel to Sarasota for a week of rehearsals with FST’s artistic staff and guest artists. At the end of each week of development sessions, a staged reading of their play or musical will be performed for a live audience, followed by a discussion with the audience about the work-in-progress.
“We are thrilled to have these nationally recognized artists join us for this Festival,” said Sean Daniels, FST’s Associate Director. “This reading series are not only a chance for us to support the artists we think are leading national conversations, and plays we think have long futures ahead of them, but are an opportunity for these artists to be in residence in our community. We develop new plays for our audience and our community, and we’re excited for these artists to deepen their relationship with both.”
A full Festival schedule can be found at the end of this release. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.
FST SUMMER NEW PLAY FESTIVAL LINEUP
The Secret Wisdom of Trees
by Christine Toy Johnson
Friday, August 11, 2023 @ 3PM in FST’s Keating Theatre
Abby Green tries to prepare her family and herself for her journey into Alzheimer’s by planting trees at the locations of her biggest memories. When her daughter dies and her grandchildren turn against her, Abby struggles with knowing that even her most painful memories are becoming difficult to hold onto. With her husband of 60 years by her side, she is filled with questions in her own personal race against time. Though she’s survived her daughter, can she survive her grandsons? Is blood thicker than spite? What’s worse – losing your family or losing the memories of what has become of them? And can love live beyond memory the way trees never forget to regenerate their leaves?
CHRISTINE TOY JOHNSON is an award-winning actor, playwright, director and advocate for inclusion. She is best known as Sherry Yang on Season 2 of the Netflix/Marvel series Iron Fist and Diane in the first national tour of Come From Away. Previously known for playing Linh Gaad on The Americans, Professor Allison Mott on the Lifetime series YOU and Dr Celia Lee on Law and Order: SVU as well as guest starring roles on Bull, Mr. Robot, Madam Secretary, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt etc. Also: Detective Lisa West on One Life to Live, Sister Mary Leo on Nunsense / Nunsense 2, and a multitude of stage work on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the U.S. including the Guthrie, Williamstown and The Huntington. Her screenplay Jumping the Third Rail won a Meryl Streep/Iris Writers Lab fellowship in 2016 and prior to that, her written work was included in the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection in 2010. She was a Guest Lecturer in Acting at the Yale School of Drama before going on the road with Come From Away.
The God Committee
By Mark St. Germain
Friday, August 18, 2023 @ 3PM in FST’s Keating TheatreMedicine, Money, and Morality clash when the Heart Transplant Selection Committee of St. Patrick’s Hospital has only minutes to decide which of three patients will receive a heart that has suddenly become available. A cross between Twelve Angry Men and ER, The God Committee takes us into the inner workings of a transplant program and a decision, for both their candidates and their program, that is a matter of life and death.
MARK ST. GERMAIN has written the plays Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award), Out of Gas on Lover’s Leapand Forgiving Typhoid Mary (Time Magazine’s “Year’s Ten Best”), Ears on a Beatle and The God Committee, all published by Samuel French and Dramatist Play Service. With Randy Courts, he has written the musicals The Gifts of the Magi, Johnny Pye and the Foolkiller, winner of an AT&T “New Plays For The Nineties Award” and Jack’s Holiday at Playwrights Horizons. Mark’s musical, Stand By Your Man, The Tammy Wynette Story was created for Nashville’s Ryman Theater. Television credits include Writer and Creative Consultant for The Cosby Show. He co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard’s Warner Brothers film, Duma. Mark directed and co-produced the upcoming documentary, My Dog An Unconditional Love Story, featuring, Richard Gere, Glenn Close and Edward Albee among many others. Mark has also written the children’s book, Three Cups. 3cupsbook.com. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, where he was given the Joe A. Callaway Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writer’s Guild East and a Board Member of the Barrington Stage Company. He was awarded the “New Voices In American Theatre” award at the William Inge Theatre Festival.
The Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latine Vote
by Bernardo Cubría
Friday, August 25 @ 3PM in FST’s Keating Theatre
University Professor Paola Aguilar desperately needs money for…well, she’ll tell you. So when THE Political Party offers her a substantial paycheck to help them understand the Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latine Vote, she reluctantly takes the job. Can she help these political strategists understand all of the complexities of the Hispanic/Latino/Latina/ Latinx/Latine vote in time to save the election? Or will her own journey ultimately be more important than who controls the White House?
BERNARDO CUBRÍA is a Mexican playwright/screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles. He is the winner of the 2021 Smith Prize for Political Theatre. His play, The Play You Want won the 2020 BETC Generations Award and was also a finalist for the 2020 Ingenio Play Festival for Latinx Plays. His play The Giant Void in my Soul was nominated for Best Playwright at the 2018 Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Drama critics Circle Awards, and The Stage Raw Awards. His play Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement received it’s world premiere at INTAR in NYC in the fall of 2017. It was a Semi-Finalist for the O’Neil in 2017. The Judgment of Fools has received three critically acclaimed production in NYC, LA, and Houston, TX. He is a proud member of Ammo Theatre Company in LA.
About Florida Studio Theatre
Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is Sarasota’s contemporary theatre. Founded in 1973, FST has grown to a village of five theatres located in the heart of downtown Sarasota. Each theatre is small in size and large in impact— providing intimate and engaging settings for high-quality, professional performances.
Today, FST has established itself as a major force in American Theatre. FST is the largest subscription theatre in the state of Florida and among the largest in the country, serving more than 200,000 live attendees each year across its diverse programs.
Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, we are where everyone is welcome to engage in the art of theatre.