Florida Studio Theatre Presents POEMS, PRAYERS AND PROMISES Tonight

Florida Studio Theatre Presents POEMS, PRAYERS AND PROMISES Tonight

FST announces its second show of the Winter Cabaret season, Poems, Prayers and Promises. Developed by Richard Hopkins and Rebecca Hopkins, the show opens in Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret tonight, January 3, 2014. Subscriptions for all three shows can be purchased for as little as $35 and up to $49. Single tickets range from $18-$36. Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.

In the 60s and 70s a new sound came into mainstream music that changed the music scene forever. With their six strings in hand, soft-rock singer-songwriters inspired a generation that treasured and guarded the belief that love heals all and love is the ultimate art to which we are all craftsmen. Led by artists like John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel, Harry Chapin, and Carole King, this musical revue celebrates their top hits and the songs that transcended generations. Featuring songs: "How Sweet It Is," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the classic "Take Me Home, Country Roads," and "I Feel The Earth Move." The strum of a guitar and its ability to soothe the soul and evoke treasured memories is just one aspect of this show that will appeal to audiences of all ages. It also highlights the beloved story-telling tradition of song and its ability to inspire and entertain an audience through melody and timeless lyrics.

When asked about the inspiration behind this show, FST's Managing Director and show developer, Rebecca Hopkins stated, "As we developed the show, what was most surprising was how much this music is truly ingrained in our shared American culture. We connect to these songs at a deeper level. They remind us of where we come from as individuals and of our place in our community. They make us want to connect with each other and as hokey as it may sound, they make us want to be better human beings."

Returning Director Russell Treys speaks of his contribution to the show stating, "As always, I'm very happy to be back with Florida Studio Theatre and eager to get to work on this exciting project. Doing last year's Urban Cowboys, I reconnected with the wonderfully evocative songs of John Denver and the power of story-telling in song. So we're back this year with a stronger focus on John Denver, moving on to the worlds of Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King, and Harry Chapin. Harry was a personal friend and collaborator. Knowing him changed my life and made me much more aware of the strength of becoming active in social areas mixed with his super abundant love of life, people, and progress. Poems, Prayers and Promises brings that joy, thought and vitality onstage."

Poems, Prayers and Promises features returning company members Dominick Cicco and Sarah Hund, along with new company members Daniel Emond, Ben Mackel and Joe Casey. Dominick Cicco previously appeared in FST's Urban Cowboys, Shake Rattle and Roll, Night train to Memphis and Outlaws and Angels. Sarah Hund previously appeared in FST's Cowgirls. Gracing the FST stage for the first time, Edmond's previous roles include South Pacific at Highfield Theatre and Anything Goes at CLOC Theatre. Mackel's previous credits include The Fantasticks at Barter Theatre and Ring of Fire at Mountain Playhouse. Lastly Casey has performed in Spike Heels at the Berkshire Public Theatre and Forever Plaid at Artpark.

Cicco describes his return to FST stating, "It feels great to be back in Sarasota. It's becoming a second home. There are always good people here to work for and to work with. I'm happy to be doing this show. There's great music and I played most of it when it was first released. It helped shape my own musical style."

Hund adds to this saying, "I was excited at the prospect of doing Poems, Prayers and Promises because I've always been a fan of Joni Mitchell, John Denver and Carole King and other artists like them. That era produced so many songwriters who were also incredible storytellers. That kind of music really speaks to me, as I'm sure it does a lot of people. I can't wait to really dig into the music - there's so much there, so many layers."

Poems, Prayers and Promises opens in the Goldstein Cabaret on Friday, January 3, 2014. Subscriptions for all three shows can be purchased for as little as $35 and up to $49. Single tickets range from $18-$36. Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, 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 four theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the renovated Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret and the John C. Court Cabaret. Soon to come in January of 2014, FST will open its fifth theatre venue, the Bowne 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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