FST's Sarasota Festival Of New Plays

FST's Sarasota Festival Of New Plays

(GHOST-WRITER photo by Amy Steinmetz)


With the world premiere of Laughing Matters in the Goldstein Cabaret, FST officially embarks on the SARASOTA FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS. The festival is a dynamic event that gives continued life to the work of emerging playwrights, going beyond producing the world premiere. This year, FST produces the 20th annual festival. SARASOTA FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS attracted playwrights, actors, directors, and designers from around the country to produce the following components of the 2011 festival:

*GHOST-WRITER by Michael Hollinger in the Keating Theatre
*Laughing Matters (Head Writer: Rebecca Langford; Contributing Writers: Stephan DeGhelder, Bobby Mitchell, Jim Prosser, Adam Ratner; Additonal Material by: W. Joseph Matheson and Traci Kanaan)
* TWO JEWS WALK INTO A WAR... by Seth Rozin in the Gompertz Theatre
* THE LAND OF YES! (Winning plays from young playwrights aged 5-17.)
*THE RICHARD & BETTY BURDICK PLAY READING SERIES (Three new plays presented as staged readings)

The Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to provide a forum for playwrights of all ages to develop plays that can be fruitfully produced. From their Young Playwrights to their emerging adult playwrights and seasoned playwriting veterans, the Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to broaden the breadth and depth of thought in American theatre by encouraging people of all ages and all perspectives to write plays. New Play Development is the lifeblood of FST. It is a year-round activity that is fully integrated with each of the theatre's other programs. FST's approach to new play development focuses on the continued life of the work. Aside from presenting world premieres, FST frequently provides plays with their second, third or fourth productions. For example, in the 2009 Sarasota Festival of New Plays, FST provided Black Pearl Sings! with its 3rd production. Black Pearl Sings! has gone on to many productions, becoming one of the top 10 most produced plays in the U.S. in 2010. In addition, in 2010, in partnership with the National New Play Network, FST presented the rolling world premiere of Shotgun by John Biguenet.

Tickets to the events, plays, and performances can be purchased through the FST Box Office by calling (941) 366.9000, or by visiting the website at www.floridastudiotheatre.org.


April 1 - June 19 in the Goldstein Cabaret
Laughing Matters, the ultimate hit of the Goldstein Cabaret, is back and bigger than ever! Laughing Matters will parody national and local topics. From the new city commission to the new roundabouts, there's always something happening in Sarasota that we can all collectively laugh at. The show had preview performances on March 30 and 31, with opening night on Friday, April 1.

Laughing Matters was created and written by Rebecca Langford, with additional writing by Stephen DeGhelder, Jim Prosser, W. Joseph Matheson and Adam Ratner.


April 6 - June 4 in the Keating Theatre
Florida Studio Theatre will close its 2010/11 season with Michael Hollinger's intelligent new play, Ghost-Writer. FST produces the third production of Ghost-Writer. This production marks the second Hollinger production at FST, after the critically-acclaimed production of Opus during the 2008/09 season. Ghost-Writer opens on the Keating Theatre stage on April 6, 2011 and will run through June 4. Ghost-Writer is a mysterious tale of artistic creation and forbidden love. In early 20th century New York, novelist Franklin Woolsey dictates his latest book to his young secretary, Myra. As they work feverishly together on Franklin's latest transcript, they form a romantic and creative bond. Or do they? When their relationship is called into question, the devoted secretary must defend the truth as she sees it.


May 4 - May 15 in the Gompertz Theatre
Two Jews Walk Into A War... by Seth Rozin is part of FST's 20th annual SARASOTA FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS. It is also produced as part of the National New Play Network, an organization that FST works closely with to develop new plays and present world premieres of emerging playwrights. Inspired by a true story, Two Jews Walk into a War... is a witty and affecting play on the last two surviving Jews in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban has destroyed the only existing Torah, so Ishaq and Zeblyan must join forces to regenerate the Jewish faith and reconstruct the sacred book. Their main obstacle - they can't stand each other! With comical bickering between the two men, can they pull off the impossible?

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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.

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