Florida Studio Theatre to Host Panel to Kick Off Commissioned Play OLDER THAN DIRT, 10/14
Florida Studio Theatre announces the kick-off event for OLDER THAN DIRT, A Conversation for the Ages. A town hall panel discussion will be held in the Keating Theatre, October 14 from 5:30-6:30p.m. Admission to this event is free. Please RSVP by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
FST has commissioned playwright KJ Sanchez and her DC-based theatre company, American Records, to collaborate with Artistic Director Richard Hopkins and FST in the creation of OLDER THAN DIRT. This will be a new play exploring what aging is really all about - from cradle to Botox. At this kick-off event, FST will host a town hall panel discussion with representatives from organizations including Embracing Our Differences, Senior Friendship Center and the Institute for the Ages. This panel will identify specific issues of aging and decide on the appropriate community members to interview. Culled from real life interviews this play will tell the people's story in their own words. This will be a play for the community, by the community.
Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.
Hopkins described the inspiration behind this project stating, "OLDER THAN DIRT has been on my back burner for over a decade. Sarasota is the perfect place to explore the dramatic and comedic possibilities of aging: From Ecstasy to Agony. Anyone who has gotten older knows that getting older is "not for sissies." But there's more to it than that. Some people want to ignore it. Otherwise want to deny it. And I want to explore it, especially the good parts. I meet so many highly evolved 'retirees' who come to Sarasota and outrun the stereotypes. These people want to leave the old and come to a new place and reinvent themselves. It's an exciting journey. OLDER THAN DIRT marks the beginning of a journey into cultural gerontology for FST. It's not just science. It's art. We aim to make it funny, dramatic or both, but never dull."
Every day our American culture seems to put more and more value on youthfulness and the young and every day ageism becomes a more and more serious and pressing issue.
A study by the Institute for the Ages shows that Sarasota's demographic (32% of its population is over 65) will be matched by most developed cities around the world by 2050. Sarasota is the perfect place to gather information from a booming, but under-represented, population to show people who they will become and what the make-up of the country might be in 25 years.
Sanchez shared her enthusiasm for the project stating, "This is a great opportunity to create more than just another play, to go beyond current practices of audience engagement, to take the investigative/documentary theatre genre to a more expansive and more inclusive level where the community takes control of their own narrative."
OLDER THAN DIRT will launch on October 14 from 5:30-6:30p.m. in the Keating Theatre. Partners for this year long project include American Records, Embracing Our Differences, Senior Friendship Center and the Institute for the Ages. Panelists will include KJ Sanchez: American Records, Sue Firestone: Senior Friendship Center, Stacy Sprouty: Institute for the Ages, Dr. Helen Fagin, Dr. Eddy Regnier, Carolyn Mason and Dr. Kathy Black. Admission to this event is free. Please RSVP by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office. Go to http://floridastudiotheatre.org/show_shows.php?id=410 for more information on OLDER THAN DIRT.