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FST to Stage the U.S. Premiere of TAKING SHAKESPEARE, 7/23-8/17

June 26
7:41 PM 2014
FST to Stage the U.S. Premiere of TAKING SHAKESPEARE, 7/23-8/17

Florida Studio Theatre announces the U.S. premiere of Taking Shakespeare, by John Murrell, the final show in the Summer Mainstage Season. The show will run in the Gompertz Theatre July 23 through August 17, 2014.

Subscriptions to see all three shows of the season can be purchased for as little as $39. Single tickets range from $32-36. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.

Previously shown at the Calgary International Festival of the Arts in its WORLD PREMIERE, FST takes on the U.S. PREMIERE of Taking Shakespeare. Who appreciates Shakespeare anymore? Murph sure doesn't, and seeks out an older Shakespeare scholar, to bring the Bard's words to life. This enchanting, eccentric journey creates a beautiful dichotomy between Shakespeare's verse and today's language. Is it possible for this avid video-game lover to love Shakespeare?

Starring in the role of Prof, is FST Associate Director Kate Alexander. Pioneering the acting training method for children which serves as the foundation for the FST acting school, Alexander relates to Prof on many levels. When asked about her insight into this show, Alexander stated, "I love that this play pits together two of the most unlikely heroes; a woman professor in her 60s and a young student obsessed with video games in his 20s. They live in the collision of our century - old and new; yet, neither are thriving. They can no longer breathe the air of their present life and don't know how to move forward. With a warmth and fresh humor, this play has so much to say about how we must reinvent ourselves at any age. It expresses how when our life 'script' is outmoded, when we are at a 'loss' for whatever reason, then we must brave new waters." Alexander's most recent FST acting role was in the 2006 production of Golda's Balcony.

Playing the role of video-game addict, Murph, is returning FST company member Graciany Miranda. Most recently seen in FST's production of Tom Jones, Miranda is no stranger to Shakespeare.

Miranda explains further stating, "I read Shakespeare for the first time in the tenth grade at the age of fifteen. It was A Midsummer Night's Dream. Like Murph, I hated it. I didn't get it, I thought it was unnecessarily wordy, pretentious, obsolete, and boring. I didn't get what some ongoing metaphor about a tree, the ocean, the sky, a lark, and some weird Elizabethan allusion that only a scholar would find funny, had anything to do with saying, 'I love you,' for example. I took Shakespeare again my junior year of college, and it was a revelation. Granted, I owe this shift to my wonderful mentor in college, Mark Cohen, but I took Shakespeare from the actor's standpoint, not the scholar's. This was always Shakespeare's intention, as Mark put it. He didn't mean for his words to be read or analyzed, but spoken and heard. That changed everything. "

Directing this production is Executive Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit, Tom Key. Key's off-Broadway musical hit, Cotton Patch Gospel, continues to be one of the most celebrated and produced musicals in the Dramatic Publishing catalogue. Also an accomplished actor, he has performed in over 100 productions from off Broadway to Los Angeles.

Taking Shakespeare explores the depth and inner workings of these two opposing characters with lovely accents of charm and humor. The show opens in the Gompertz Theatre July 23 and runs through August 17, 2014. Subscriptions to see all three shows of the season can be purchased for as little as $39. Single tickets range from $32-36. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.

About Florida Studio Theatre: Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the renovated Gompertz Theatre, the John C. Court Cabaret and the new Bowne's Lab Theatre.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.

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